Last month was a surprisingly strong one for job growth, as the state’s economy added 18,300 jobs, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
That hiring represented more than twice as much as the February average during the previous five years and it followed a job loss in January, when the economy typically sheds workers, according to Mark Butler, the state's labor commissioner.
It is also unusually balanced growth since it came primarily from three sectors: high wage corporate jobs, low wage hospitality positions and the middle wage jobs in construction.
VIDEO: In other Business news
The unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent, which actually represents progress, since the labor force was growing by nearly 16,000 people during the month. That means that the economy is currently creating jobs fast enough to soak up new entrants as young people emerge from school and new residents move from elsewhere.
Moreover, the labor force has expanded by more than 94,000 people in the past year while the jobless rate has come down from 5.2 percent.
Michael E. Kanell, the AJC's economics writer, has been reporting on jobs, housing and the economy at the AJC for nearly two decades. He has appeared on television and radio to analyze and report on business and economic developments.