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Hiring surge: U.S. economy adds 313,000 jobs in February

Construction worker
A construction worker on a beam in Boston. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The U.S. added 313,000 jobs last month, the most since mid-2016 and far higher than the 200,000-235,000 consensus forecast, according to the Labor Department's latest figures. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%, the fifth straight month at that level.

Why it matters: The overall report signals the labor market remains strong, leading economists to expect four interest rate hikes by the Fed this year under its new chairman, Jerome H. Powell. "This labor market is on fire and wage gains are in train," said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, a tax consulting firm.