Washington - US employers added jobs at an above-average pace for a second month on outsized gains in construction and manufacturing, showing the labour market continued its steady growth in the new year.
The 235 000 increase in jobs followed a 238 000 rise in January that was more than previously estimated, the best back-to-back rise since July, a Labour Department report showed on Friday in Washington. The unemployment rate fell to 4.7%, and wages grew 2.8% from February 2016.
While unseasonably warm weather may have boosted the payrolls count, the data represent President Donald Trump’s first full month in office and coincide with a surge in economic optimism following his election victory. The figures also validate recent comments by Federal Reserve officials that flagged a likely interest-rate increase this month.