The number of jobs created was higher than most economists had predicted. Jobs grew in health care, retail, food services, construction and education. Mining, which includes the oil industry, hit hard by plunging crude prices, lost jobs.
Retail added 55,000 while manufacturing lost 16,000 after a strong gain of 23,000 jobs in January. The impact of low oil prices on the once booming energy industry. Mining and logging employment, which includes oil extraction, lost 18,000 jobs.
7.8 million Americans were still unemployed, which was about 800,000 fewer than a year ago. Another 6 million who want to work full time could find only part-time employment.
The number of people who were working or at least looking for work, called the “participation rate,” increased half a percentage point over the past few months.
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