Unemployment

U.S. adds just 20,000 jobs in February

Source: Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pace of jobs growth slowed significantly in February with the economy adding 20,000 jobs, less than the 180,000 expected, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.8% and wages rose 3.4% from the prior year — the best pace in a decade.

Between the lines: After an average gain of 186,000 jobs per month in the last 3 months, a pullback from that breakneck pace has been widely expected. Economists, though, are questioning whether or not February's dismal job growth was a blip, or the beginning of trouble for the booming labor market.

Unemployed and living far away from jobs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Millions of Americans have been jobless for a year or more: the hard-core unemployed. Among the causes for their stubborn unemployment is a lack of skills, a drug habit, or a felony record.

Between the lines: But there is another, largely overlooked reason. Many of these unemployed people simply can't — or won't — go where the jobs are.

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