U.S. economy adds 295,000 jobs in February

The economy added 295,000 nonfarm jobs in February, and the national unemployment rate dipped to 5.5%, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report. The number of unemployed people also decreased by 1.7 million.

The BLS revised January’s jobs numbers from 257,000 to 239,000, but even with that adjustment, job gains have averaged 288,000 per month since December.

Sectors seeing increases included food services, professional and business services, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing. The number of mining jobs decreased.

Wages also increased modestly, with average hourly earnings for all employees on nonfarm payrolls rising by 3 cents to $24.78. Over the past year, average earnings have risen by 2%.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 5% in January from 5.2% in December.