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US economy adds only 20,000 jobs in February; unemployment falls to 3.8 percent

from By Seth Sandronsky

The federal government’s February jobs report shows that payroll employment rose 20,000 last month, a sharp departure from the 311,000 new jobs added in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. February’s unemployment rate of 3.8 percent compared favorably with 4.0 percent in January. "One month does not make a trend," says Elise Gould, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. On that note, job growth averaged 186,000 over the past three months. "One reason for the February weakness was harsh weather, depressing job growth in construction, hotels, and restaurants," according to Gould. more

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