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Real Time Economics | Bad Jobs Report?

Real Time Economics U.S. employers added a scant 20,000 jobs , the unemployment rate fell to 3.8% and hourly wages posted their best annual gain in nearly a decade in February. Jeff Sparshott and Greg Ip here to take you through some of the numbers.   The Unemployment Rate Says 'Don’t Worry' At first blush the job market behaved strangely in February. Nonfarm payrolls barely grew, by 20,000, far less than expected. Yet unemployment dropped to 3.8% from 4%. Payrolls are based on a survey of employers while unemployment is drawn from a survey of households. In recent months the two had moved in opposite directions, producing strong payroll growth but rising unemployment. February’s moves correct some of that divergence. Both have likely been distorted by the partial federal government shutdown and cold weather. Averaging over the last three months eliminates those distortions and sends a reassuring message: payroll growth