WASHINGTON — Employment in the domestic apparel and textile industries was unchanged in February from January, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Last month, apparel makers employed 658,000 workers, which is 54,000 below year-ago levels. The textile mill payroll in February was 549,000, down 23,100 over the year.
As apparel and textile industry payrolls remained constant for the month, the number of jobs created in the overall economy slowed. In all, 43,000 jobs were added last month, down significantly from January’s boom of 384,000.
The national unemployment rate edged up just a bit in February to 4.1 percent from January’s 4 percent.
Employment at apparel and accessories stores in February increased by 3,000 workers last month to 1.181 million, which is 51,400 above February 1999 levels. Department store employment was down 1,000 workers in February against January to 3.484 million, which is up 100,600 from a year ago.

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