Analysts say jobs report suggests gains in job growth are ahead

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Analysts are welcoming today's unemployment report.

The Labor Department reports that employers added 175,000 jobs last month -- even though February's harsh weather shut down factories, reduced auto sales and slowed home sales.

Paul Dales of Capital Economics says if the economy could generate 175,000 jobs in a month of severe weather, employment growth should "accelerate further" once the weather improves. Michelle Meyer, with BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, says the numbers indicate there should be "solid gains in job growth in coming months."

And Daniel Alpert of Westwood Capital notes that two-thirds of the job growth in the last two months was in higher-paying industries. That's a reversal from all of last year, when about two-thirds were in lower-paying fields.

A category called professional and business services added 79,000 jobs. Construction companies, which usually stop work in bad weather, picked up 15,000 jobs in February. Governments added 13,000 jobs, the most in six months.

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