The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent in February. The economy added 242,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department. Job creation numbers for December and January were increased by 30,000 total. The job sector participation rate is reportedly trending up, with more Americans now looking for work.
While typically low-paying industries including retail, restaurants and social assistance saw job gains, the energy sector saw a loss of 30,000 positions in February. Additionally, wages grew by just 2.2 percent, whereas the Federal Reserve would prefer wage growth to be closer to 3.5 percent.