By Frank Michael Russell, Mercury News Assistant Business Editor
Now that employers are finally adding to their payrolls, many long-suffering job seekers are returning to the workforce. In fact, they're returning in numbers so huge that the unemployment rate climbed in February, even as employers added 243,000 payroll jobs.
The unemployment rate was still relatively low at 4.8 percent, up from 4.7 percent in January, the Labor Department reported today. "You are seeing a large number of people coming out of the woodwork because there are jobs to be found. People are now looking for jobs because it is now worth looking," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services, according to an Associated Press report. (The Labor Department doesn't count an individual as unemployed unless that person is actively looking for work.)