U.S. Economy Adds 192,000 Jobs in February


U.S. 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 on March 4. 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 percent) 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.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.7 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (23.9 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (15.3 percent), and Hispanics (11.6 percent) showed little or no change in February. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, at 8.3 million, continued to trend down in February and has fallen by 1.2 million over the past 12 months. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 6.0 million and accounted for 43.9 percent of the unemployed.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 in February. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, and several service-providing industries. Since a recent low in February 2010, total payroll employment has grown by 1.3 million, or an average of 106,000 per month.

Manufacturing employment rose by 33,000 in February. Almost all of the gain occurred in durable goods industries, including machinery (+9,000) and fabricated metal products (+7,000). Manufacturing has added 195,000 jobs since its most recent trough in December 2009; durable goods manufacturing added 233,000 jobs during this period.

Construction employment grew by 33,000 in February, following a decline of 22,000 in January that may have reflected severe winter weather. Within construction, specialty trade contractors accounted for the bulk of the February job gain (+28,000).

Employment in the service-providing sector continued to expand in February, led by a gain of 47,000 in professional and business services. Employment services added 29,000 jobs, and employment rose by 7,000 in management and technical consulting. Within employment services, the number of jobs in temporary help services edged up over the month.

Health care employment continued to increase in February (+34,000). Over the prior 12 months, health care had added 260,000 jobs, or an average of 22,000 jobs per month.

Transportation and warehousing employment increased by 22,000 in February, with half of that gain in truck transportation (+11,000).

Employment in both state and local government edged down over the month. Local government has lost 377,000 jobs since its peak in September 2008.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from +121,000 to +152,000, and the change for January was revised from +36,000 to +63,000.


TradingEconomics.com, US Bureau of Labor Statistics
3/4/2011 1:40:08 PM