Weather, schmether

Feb Payrolls fell by 36k, better than the estimate of -68k which had been falling due to concerns with weather but two weeks ago, the estimate was flat. Revisions were a net +35k over the prior two months. The unemployment rate remained unch at 9.7%, .1% better than expected as the household survey added 308k jobs, mostly offsetting the increase of 342k in the labor force. However, the all in unemployment rate (U6) rose to 16.8% from 16.5%. The avg work week rose .1% to 33.8. Mfr’g added 1k jobs, up for the 2nd month after fallling 41 in the previous 42 months. The service sector also added jobs for a 2nd straight month, by 42k. Temp added 48k and the count over the past 5 months is now +285k. Partly due to the census worker adds, the fed’l govt added 7k. Construction shed 64k workers, financial sector lost 10k and retail was flat. Education/health continues to add workers. The avg term of unemployment fell to a still elevated 29.7 weeks. As I mentioned this morning, the bulls had a weather related free pass today but the data still shows a very difficult, albeit slowly improving labor market.

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