Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Dept of Labor’s newest report shows that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, down from a monthly average of 189,000 for the last 12 months, and unemployment rose to 6.7%, up 0.1% as those who long ago stopped looking for work began returning to the employment search.

Still, the figures are better than what was expected by the economist, fearing anemic growth at best due to the usually cold and severe winter across the plain states, Midwest and northwest parts of the United States.  Just before the figures were released, Wall Street had predicted just 149,000 new jobs.

The unseasonably harsh winter saw slow job growth, with December adding just 84,000 and January adding only 129,000 jobs, impacting the U.S. economy with an estimated loss of $50 billion across construction and transportation sectors.

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