In an encouraging sign for businesses, job growth in February was greater than economists expected, despite unseasonably cold weather and snowy conditions during the short month.
On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. added 175,000 jobs in February, a considerable increase from the 129,000 jobs that were added in January and the 75,000 added in December 2013. February's total, however, was below the 189,000 monthly average over the past 12 months.
The greatest job gains were seen in professional and business services and wholesale trade, the Labor Department said in a press release. Though the information sector lost jobs--particularly in motion picture and sound recording--employment in that industry is more volatile month to month.
The uptick in unemployment from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent during the month did, however, put a slight damper on the report. The length of the average workweek dipped to its lowest level since January 2011, which is probably a reflection of the inclement weather during the month.