WASHINGTON — U.S. employers stepped up hiring in February despite a blast of harsh winter weather, likely renewing hopes that the economy will accelerate this year.
The Labor Department said Friday that employers added 175,000 jobs, up from 129,000 in January. The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent as more Americans began seeking jobs but many didn't find them. That's still an encouraging sign because more job hunters suggest that people were more optimistic about their prospects.
Friday's figures follow recent reports showed that harsh weather had closed factories, lowered auto sales and slowed home sales.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.