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Manufacturing employment added 4,000 jobs in February, after increasing by an average of 22,000 per month over the prior 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 20,000 in February, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.8%. Employment in professional and business services, health care, and wholesale trade continued to trend up, while construction employment decreased.
The unemployment rate declined 0.2% to 3.8% in February, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million. Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs declined by 225,000. This decline reflects, in part, the return of federal workers who were furloughed in January due to the partial government shutdown.