The nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent as the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in February. Revised data also found that 60,000 more jobs were created in December and January.
It’s another sign that the economy is strengthening and adding more jobs and could complicate the campaigns of the Republican presidential candidates who have criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy.
The latest report from the Labor Department found that job growth occurred in many sectors of the economy: professional services, health care, leisure and hospitality and manufacturing.
And public sector employment — which experienced an average of 22,000 jobs cut per month last year — had only 6,000 positions eliminated last month.
In New York City, yearly revisions to the economic data released on Thursday found significantly stronger job growth. Real estate investment firm Eastern Consolidated found that 54,200 jobs were created in the city last year, nearly 50 percent more jobs that first reported.
Despite the job growth, the city’s unemployment rate is full percentage higher than the national average at 9.3 percent.
Nationally, 12.8 million were unemployment, a slight increase from the previous month, though the unemployment rate remained unchanged from January. The rate held steady even hiring increased because the number of people in the workforce — both employed or unemployed and looking for jobs — increased.
The number of long-term unemployment remained high, accounting for nearly 42.6 percent. But it has been slowly declining, falling by 92,000 from January to February and down 588,000 from a year ago.
Though the recent months have shown growing strength in job creation, worries about Europe’s slowing economy and higher gas prices at home could be factors that slow U.S. economy growth.
Average gas prices are now $3.79 a gallon, up 7 cents from the previous week and 27 cents from a year ago.