Jobs Report Stronger Than Expected
Unemployment remains at 4.9%
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 4, 2016 7:52 AM CST
A recruiter takes the resume of an applicant during a job fair in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – The February jobs report came in stronger than expected on Friday: Employers added 242,000 jobs last month, above the 200,000 or so that analysts were expecting and way up from the revised figure of 172,000 in January. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained at 4.9%. One not-so-bright spot: Though a slight rise was expected, average hourly wages dropped 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $25.35, notes MarketWatch.

The Fed in particular has been keeping an eye on wages—it wants to see steady growth before raising interest rates again, reports AP. Still, the jobs number is "a sign of steady economic growth despite financial-market turmoil and weakness abroad," notes the Wall Street Journal.