Total U.S. payroll employment in February slowed down over the previous month, adding 20,000 jobs, the lowest monthly growth since September 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent. Residential construction employment fell by 10,900 jobs in February, after January's 22,500 increase. December 2018's job growth data was downwardly revised to a decline of 900 jobs.
In February, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent. The number of persons employed increased by 255,000 in February while the number of persons unemployed decreased by 300,000. Among the unemployed, the number of persons who are on temporary layoff decreased by 117,000, following the monthly gain of 175,000 in January. The decrease in the number of persons unemployed reflected the return of furloughed federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown.