The finance sector gained 6,000 jobs last month, offsetting the 5,000 it lost in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accounting and bookkeeping gained 7,300 jobs in February, adding more jobs than any other finance sector.
The finance unemployment rate dropped to 5.3% in February, down from 6.9% in the same month a year ago, while the broader economy added 227,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate remained steady from the previous month at 8.3%.
The accounting job gains fell from 12,500 added in January, but overall hiring remains strong, according to Jennifer Dodge, managing director at Accounting Principals, a global staffing firm and a division of New York-based Adecco USA. "There's been a steady demand for technical accounting skills, and while unemployment overall is still high, unemployment for professional accountants is low," she said.
Employers need accountants with tax, audit and experience with rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Dodge expects that demand to continue over the next several months.
"There are certain accounting jobs companies can't leave vacant," she said. "Certain technical accounting skills are always in demand."
Real estate, rental and leasing gained 5,400 jobs, while commercial banking gained 2,800. Securities, commodity contracts and investments businesses added only 100 jobs, the BLS said.
Write to Julie Steinberg at Julie.Steinberg@dowjones.com