Labor Dept Issues Weakest Jobs Report In 17 Months

Yahoo News reports:

The U.S. economy added a sharply lower-than-expected 20,000 non-farm payrolls in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Consensus expectations called for 180,000 positions to be added for the month, according to Bloomberg data. February’s headline reading for new payrolls was the weakest in 17 months.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, from 4% in January. Consensus economists expected the rate to have ticked down to 3.9%. The labor force participation rate remained unchanged in February at 63.2%. Average hourly earnings in February increased to 0.4% month-over-month and 3.4% year-over-year.