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Now is the time to look for a job; Economists shocked by recent hiring numbers

jobs

The job market picked up more than expected in February, led by strong hiring in professional and business services.

The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs last month, marking an improvement from January and topping economists’ expectations. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7%, from 6.6% the prior month as more Americans joined the labor force. Both numbers were reported by the Department of Labor on Friday morning.

Economists had been expecting a weaker jobs number due to colder than usual weather throughout much of the country in February. Ice and snow can postpone hiring if businesses close, or even cause a decline in outdoor jobs, like construction.

That didn’t happen though. Instead, hiring picked up across many sectors. Construction added 15,000 jobs, restaurants and bars added 20,100 jobs and education and health services added 33,000 jobs.