The US economy added 311,000 jobs in February, according to the Labor Department’s monthly employment snapshot released Friday.
That’s a retracement from January’s successful jobs report, when a revised 504,000 jobs were added, but it shows the job market is still evolving.
The unemployment rate rose to 3.6% from 3.4%.
Economists expected a net gain of 205,000 jobs for February and an unemployment rate of 3.4%, according to Refinitiv.
The Federal Reserve has been struggling for nearly a year to slow the economy and squash the highest inflation in 40 years, but the job market continues to defy those efforts.
“The unemployment rate rose between 0.2% and 3.6%, more than expected,” said Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at Bankrate. “Contributing to the upward pressure here, there were more people looking for work.”
Industries with notable employment increases included leisure and hospitality, retail, government, and health care. After being crushed during the pandemic, leisure and hospitality have been steadily adding employees and trying to meet increased demand from consumers shifting their spending from goods to services.