U.S. Payrolls Rise 175,000; Unemployment Rate Climbs to 6.7 Percent
Employers added more workers than projected in February, indicating the U.S. economy is starting to recover from a weather-induced setback. However, the jobless rate unexpectedly climbed to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent as an increased number of people entered the workforce and could not find jobs. The 175,000 gain in employment followed a revised 129,000 increase the prior month that was bigger than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 149,000 advance in February. The report lends hope for the economy’s prospects, after winter storms and freezing temperatures across the eastern United States slowed consumer spending, housing and manufacturing. Lowe’s Cos. is among the companies adding jobs, setting the stage for further gains as Americans return to stores in increased numbers.