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By Cormac McCarthy

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Paychecks Shrink Even as U.S. Economy Adds Jobs

Posted on Mar 7, 2016

    A line forms outside a claims office. (Phil Campbell / CC-BY-2.0)

The U.S. economy added 242,000 jobs in February—but the major gains were in low-wage industries, and average hourly earnings dropped 3 cents. And unemployment rates remained far higher for minorities than for whites.

The Guardian reports:

US businesses have now added 14.3m jobs over six straight years. The unemployment rate is half what it was at the height of the recession. In January the Labor Department announced the economy had added a disappointing 151,000 new jobs. December and January’s reports have now been revised with the Labor Department adding 30,000 jobs for the two months. …

Retail added 55,000 while manufacturing lost 16,000 after a strong gain of 23,000 jobs in January. The impact of low oil prices on the once booming energy industry. Mining and logging employment, which includes oil extraction, lost 18,000 jobs.

Unemployment rates remained far higher for minorities: black and Hispanic Americans were jobless at rates of 8.8% and 5.4%, compared to 4.3% for whites. The unemployment rate for the country overall was 4.5%. Those rates did not change during the month, nor did the number of long-term jobless: still 2.2 million people.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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