News / Economy

US Economy Added 175,000 Jobs in February

US Employers Add 175K Jobs in February Despite Harsh Weatheri
|| 0:00:00
Mil Arcega
March 07, 2014 10:22 PM
The U.S. economy continues to show signs of resilience. Despite severe winter conditions last month, employers added 175,000 jobs, picking up the pace of hiring after two months of sluggish job growth. As Mil Arcega reports for VOA, though, others worry the U.S. labor pool is getting smaller.
Related video report by Mil Arcega
Ken Bredemeier
U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs in February, picking up the pace of hiring after two months of sluggish job growth.

A senior economist at the country's biggest bank, James Glassman at JPMorgan Chase, tolds VOA the advance in the labor market last month is a favorable sign for the world's largest economy. That is especially so, he said, after an unusually cold and snowy winter in the U.S. limited job growth in December and January.

"The February report tells you we may see better numbers in the next couple months as we get back to something more normal," he said.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate edged slightly higher to 6.7 percent in February. Glassman said that may be a good indicator, though, that frustrated jobless workers are more optimistic about the economy and have resumed their search for employment, even if they have yet to find a new job.

"If the unemployment rate's going up because people are coming back into the market looking, then that's a good sign, frankly," he said. "I think for a while we shouldn't really view a rise in the unemployment rate as a negative if it accompanies an increase in the labor force, because it means that something must be going on. People must be hearing there are opportunities."

There are 10.5 million unemployed workers in the U.S., and more than a third of them have been out of work for six months or longer.

The U.S. jobless rate has been steadily declining over the last four-plus years as the country recovers from its worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Economists have noted that some of the improvement in the unemployment rate, however, has occurred because thousands of frustrated job seekers have been unable to find work and dropped out of the labor market, and thus are not counted by the government as unemployed.

Even as U.S. stock market indexes have soared to new highs, many American businesses have been reluctant to significantly boost their payrolls. Employers added only 129,000 jobs in January and 84,000 in December, after averaging 189,000 over the past year.

The country's central bank, the Federal Reserve, is watching the U.S. economic trends to see whether it should continue to trim its direct support of the American economy. Last year, the Fed had been buying $85 billion worth of securities a month in an effort aimed at keeping long-term interest rates low and boosting job growth, but now has cut the figure to $65 billion.

Fed policy makers, including new chair Janet Yellen, are meeting again later this month. Glassman said he thinks the Fed will continue to cut its asset purchases and end them in late 2014.

You May Like

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies


Rates may not be current.