The pace of hiring in the U.S. slowed sharply in February as the economy added just 20,000 new jobs, marking the smallest increase in 17 months.
The number of new nonfarm jobs created last month was well below the 172,000 MarketWatch forecast, but the slowdown was probably exaggerated by seasonal oddities that are unlikely to persist.
The U.S. has been adding more than 200,000 new jobs a month for the past year. The jobless rate fell to 3.8% in February from 4%, mostly because fewer people said they were unemployed. The average wage paid to American workers, meanwhile, rose 11 cents, or 0.4%, to $27.66 an hour.
The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains climbed to 3.4% from 3.2%, the largest increase since April 2009. Hours worked each week fell 0.1 hour in February to 34.4 hours. The government said 311,000 new jobs were created in January instead of 304,000. December's gain was raised to 227,000 from 222,000.
Source : Market Watch