The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


Weekly business news
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, March 8, 2013, 8:21 p.m.

Unemployment rate falls to four-year low

WASHINGTON -- The nation's unemployment rate fell in February to a new four-year low of 7.7 percent as employers added a stronger-than-expected 236,000 jobs over the month, thanks in good part to the rebounding housing market.
The Labor Department said Friday that the new jobless rate, which declined from 7.9 percent in January, was the lowest since December 2008, when the unemployment figure was 7.3 percent.
Although some of the rate drop was the result of workers leaving the labor force, the improvement reflected solid job gains across a broad swath of industries. Growth was led by the construction sector, which added 48,000 jobs last month -- the most in a single month since March 2007.
The strengthening housing market also gave a lift to other sectors: Employment in financial services benefited from the addition of nearly 9,000 new jobs at real estate and leasing offices. Furniture makers and retailers also bulked up, as did architectural and engineering services.
Health care businesses and restaurants continued to expand at a strong pace.
Government employment, on the other hand, dropped by 10,000 jobs, as state and local offices cut back. Federal payrolls were flat.
Many analysts are expecting the fiscal spending cuts under the so-called sequestration to slow job growth in the coming months, but there was little hint of that in Friday's report.
January's job growth number was revised lower, to 119,000 from 157,000 initially estimated. But most of that was offset by changes in December's payrolls, which were revised up to 219,000 from 196,000 previously reported.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

Epic river journey
Epic river journey: Woodway man traces Meriwether Lewis' route by kayak, bike
Knocked down, not out
Knocked down, not out: Bill Iffrig hasn't ruled out return to Boston Marathon
Getting shut out
Getting shut out: Supporters lobby WIAA to make lacrosse a high school sport
Boston Marathon
Boston Marathon: Everett's Adams: ‘A magic that no evil can eclipse’