US Job Growth Likely Rose In February In Rebound From Slump

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2020, file photo, a passerby walks past a hiring sign while entering a Target store in Westwood, Mass. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits edged higher last week to 745,000, a sign that many employers continue to cut jobs despite a drop in confirmed viral infections and evidence that the overall economy is improving. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(AP) — U.S. employers likely stepped up their hiring in February as confirmed viral cases declined, consumers spent big chunks of their government aid checks and the economy appeared to be sustaining a tentative recovery. Economists have forecast that job growth reached 175,000 last month, according to data provider FactSet. That would mark a sharp improvement over an average of just 29,000 jobs a month from November through January. Yet with the nation still 10 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level, monthly hiring would need to significantly accelerate to bring relief to the many people who remain laid off, especially at restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues and other areas of the hospitality industry that are far from recovered.


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