The trucking industry lost 600 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate held at 4.9%, the Labor Department reported March 4.
Transportation and warehousing, the sector that includes trucking, lost 5,300 positions. The courier and messenger sector shed 4,000 jobs.
The 242,000 rise in total payrolls followed a 172,000 rise in January that was larger than previously estimated, Bloomberg News reported.
The dip in trucking jobs follows a 2,500 rise in January that was revised up from 1,500. Total transportation services and warehousing jobs rose by 19,500 in January.
Payrolls at factories declined by 16,000 after a 23,000 gain, and construction companies added 19,000 workers.
A job market in good health will reinforce job security and encourage Americans to spend, buffering the United States from the ill-effects of global economic weakness, Bloomberg reported.
“It indicates the resilience of the economy,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York told Bloomberg. “The labor market doesn’t appear to be hurt by financial market volatility. Wages were a bit disappointing.”
The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 195,000 advance. Estimates of 92 economists ranged from gains of 70,000 to 245,000. January initially was reported as a 151,000 increase. Revisions to prior reports added a total of 30,000 jobs to payrolls in the previous two months.