The job market is getting stronger, but it's still far from healthy, according to this morning's big employment report.
* The U.S. added 227,000 jobs in February.
* Job growth was even higher than previously reported over the past few months. Employers added 284,000 jobs in January — 41,000 more than initial estimates suggested. The December jobs number was also revised upward. Initial estimates often underestimate job gains when the economy is gaining strength.
Still far from healthy:
* There are 5 million fewer jobs today than there were five years ago, before the recession.
* Wages are not rising fast enough to keep up with inflation. Average hourly earnings rose by 1.9 percent over the past year; inflation was just under 3 percent.
* There are 23.5 million Americans who are either unemployed, are working part-time because they can't find full-time work, or want a job but have given up looking. This number — known as broader unemployment, or U-6 — is falling, but it's still nearly twice as high as it was before the recession. It's shown in the graph at the top of this post.
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