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Here’s where the jobs are for February 2024 — in one chart

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The U.S. labor market showed continuing strength in February through broad job creation of 275,000, with one sector leading the charge.

Health care and social assistance saw the largest hiring gains of 90,700 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The sector got a boost from sharp gains in hospital and ambulatory health-care services, which added 28,000 and 27,700 jobs, respectively.

Leisure and hospitality also saw robust growth, adding 58,000 jobs. The BLS highlighted job gains in food services and drinking places, which increased by about 42,000 in February after three months of little change.

Transportation and warehouse employment rose by 19,700 jobs. Couriers and messengers accounted for 17,000 new jobs after declining by 70,000 jobs in the prior three months.

Meanwhile, manufacturing jobs dropped by 4,000. Transportation equipment and computer and electronics manufacturing led the broader sector’s job losses with declines of 1,900 and 1,700, respectively.

Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, said the strong year-over-year wage growth number was a positive spot in the report.

“That strong wage growth number, while it’s good news for workers, isn’t necessarily bad news for employers —or for inflation —because productivity growth has been so strong, so it actually may be sustainable,” Pollak said.

However, the economist added that the continued fall in manufacturing employment despite heavy federal investment in the sector remains a puzzle.

Declines in tech-related sub-industries such as software publishers, computer systems and other groups also “suggest that the ‘tech-session’ is still not behind us despite this huge rally in the stock market,” said Pollak.

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