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Economy defied early coronavirus fears in February with 273,000 new jobs, unemployment ticked down to 3.5%


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Employment growth in February beat expectations, as 273,000 workers were added to payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The unemployment rate was 3.5%, versus 3.6% in January.


Forecasters had expected about 175,000 jobs.

The job growth numbers for December and January were also revised up, by a combined 85,000. 

Altogether, the labor market displayed great strength heading in March, when fears about the coronavirus began to crimp commerce. Employers had added an average of 243,000 jobs a month in the past three months, about double the number the Federal Reserve has calculated is necessary to keep unemployment trending down.:snip:

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