U.S. payrolls grow 235,000 in February

Job growth accelerated in the United States in February with an estimated gain of 235,000 jobs spread out among a variety of industry sectors.

The unemployment rate slipped a tenth to 4.7 percent, while hourly earnings continued to increase.

According to the latest Labor Department report, nonfarm payrolls increased 235,000 in February.

Initial estimates for payroll gains in January and December were revised upward a total of 9,000, with an increase of 11,000 in January more than offsetting a decrease of 2,000 in December.

Using the latest numbers, job gains have averaged 209,000 a month over the past three months.

Still, 7.5 million people were counted among those unsuccessfully looking for work — 1.8 million for 27 weeks or longer. Another 5.7 million people were counted among those working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they’ve been unable to find full-time positions.

The labor participation rate climbed to 63 percent.

For February, construction payrolls increased 58,000 even as employment rose 37,000 in professional and business services, 29,000 in educational services, 28,000 in manufacturing and 27,000 in health care. Employment in mining, which includes oil and natural gas development, rose 8,000. Payrolls in the retail trade sector shrank 26,000.

The average workweek for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls remained unchanged at 34.4 hours. The manufacturing workweek held steady at 40.8 hours.

Average hourly earnings for employees on private, nonfarm payrolls rose 6 cents to $26.09. Over the past year, hourly earnings have increased 71 cents or 2.8 percent.