US jobs growth remains strong despite higher interest rates

Jobs growth in the US remained strong last month, as the world’s largest economy continued to defy expectations of a slowdown.


Employers added 311,000 jobs in February, more than expected, with bars and restaurants driving the gains.


The unemployment rate edged higher, to 3.6%, from 3.4% in January, which had been the lowest rate since 1969.


The US central bank is trying to cool the economy to ease the pressures pushing up prices.


But the jobs market has been resilient, even as the bank raises interest rates to the highest levels since 2007.


Inflation in the US was 6.4% in January.


While that rate has fallen since last summer, it remains far higher than the 2% rate that most central banks consider healthy.


The head of the US central bank, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, warned this week that the bank might raise its benchmark rate faster and further than expected, saying he was worried that progress getting prices under control was stalling.


He cited the strong jobs market as one of the factors keeping pressure on prices.

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