The economy continued to gain jobs last month, with another 227,000 added in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, although the unemployment rate remained unchanged from January, at 8.3 percent.
Still, the unemployment rate remained at the lowest level in about three years amid other hopeful signs for the economic recovery. The Labor Department revised upward its job numbers for the two previous months, increasing the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December from 203,000 to 223,000, and the change for January from 243,000 to 284,000.
Hiring for accounting and bookkeeping services was up 7,300 in February, although that was down from the job gains of 12,500 in that sector in January.
“You always see an uptick in January,” said Jennifer Dodge, managing director at the staffing company Accounting Principals. “Most companies have a December 31 year-end, so the majority of their audit and year-end financial work is hitting the first day we get back to work in January. People are always gearing up for that. It’s tax season, it’s audit season, it’s financial reporting season. The first quarter of the year is usually pretty big for accounting and finance.”
She noted that the hiring trend for accounting and bookkeeping usually continues until the summer months, when people take their vacations. Since last August, there has been an increase in accounting and finance positions month after month, she added.
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