A Closer Look at February NFP


Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and business services, health care, and transportation and warehousing.

The number of unemployed persons (13.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.9%) changed little in February. The labor force was about unchanged over
the month. The jobless rate was down by 0.9 percentage point since November 2010.

Let’s take a closer look and see what is going on beneath the headlines:

• Private job growth accelerated and the unemployment rate fell for the third straight month; Since the February 2010 low, total payroll employment has grown by 1.3 million.

• Average hourly earnings of all employees increased by one cent to $22.87, up 1.7% year over year.

• The average work week for all workers was flat at 34.2 hours.

• Among all industries, 68.2% were hiring, up from 60.1% in January. This is the broadest range of hiring since May 1988.

• Revisions were all positive: Payroll rose in December and January by a cumulative 58,000. A revised 152,000 in December and by 63,000 in January.

•  Unemployment dropped by 190,000 to 13.7 million; Employment gained 250,000 to 139.6 million.

• The Labor participation rate was unchanged at 64.2%; the employment-population ratio at 58.4% was also unchanged in February

• Sectors that added jobs include Manufacturing (+33,000), Construction (+33,000), Professional and business services (+47,000), Health care (+34,000), Transportation and warehousing (+22,000),

• Sectors losing jobs were State and Local government

The worst thing I can say about this job report is it includes some storm related push forward from January . . , Other than that, this is a pretty okay release.

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