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REPEAT: MNI DATA ANALYSIS: US February Payrolls Jump 313k>

Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 13:30 GMT Mar 9
--Hourly Earnings +0.1% After +0.3% in January, Y/Y Rate Now +2.6%
--Stronger Than Expected Payrolls Follow +54k Revision To Dec-Jan Jobs 
--Participation Rate Rises To 63.0% From 62.7% In January
By Kevin Kastner, Sara Haire, and Holly Stokes
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The February employment report released Friday 
showed nonfarm payrolls were very brisk, rising 313,000 following a net 
upward revision to 54,000 in the previous two months, based on data from 
the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
     An MNI analysis had shown a tendency of analysts to underestimate 
payrolls in recent February reports, so the much stronger-than-expected 
reading maintains this trend. 
     Average hourly earnings were up 0.1% in February, compared with a 
0.2% gain expected by analysts and a 0.3% gain expected by the whisper 
number. Before rounding, the February pace was very close to being 
rounded up to 0.2%, leaving it in line with analysts, but still below 
the markets' fear of another 0.3% gain. 
     The 0.3% rise in January was unrevised. The year/year rate fell to 
2.6% in February from 2.8% in January (revised down from 2.9%). 
     The overall average workweek rebounded to 34.5 hours in February 
from upward revised 34.4 hours in January . The combination of earnings 
and hours worked should be a positive for personal income growth in 
     There were large payrolls gains for construction, retail, 
government, and temporary help services, but the gains were fairly well 
distributed. Most of the 26,000 increase in government jobs can be seen 
at the local level, particularly education. 
     The unemployment rate held at 4.1% for the fifth straight month. 
When seen unrounded, the rate fell very modestly in February to 4.142% 
from 4.149% in January with a large jump in the labor force reflecting 
gains in both employment and unemployment. 
     The labor force rose by 806,000 after increasing by 518,000 last 
month. Household employment rose by 785,000 in February, while the 
number of unemployed increased by 22,000. As a result, the labor 
participation rate rose to 63.0% from 62.7% in January. 
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 ** 

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