US Jobless Rate Flat at 4.9%


Unemployment rate in the United States was recorded at 4.9 percent in February 2016, unchanged from the January rate and remaining at its lowest level since April of 2008, as the number of unemployed persons was unchanged. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.6 percentage point and 831,000, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.5 percent), adult women (4.5 percent), teenagers (15.6 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (8.8 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics (5.4 percent) showed little or no change in February. 

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.2 million in February and has shown little movement since June. In February, these individuals accounted for 27.7 percent of the unemployed. 

The employment-population ratio edged up to 59.8 percent over the month, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 62.9 percent. Both measures have increased by 0.5 percentage point since September. 

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was unchanged in February at 6.0 million and has shown little movement since November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. 

In February, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 356,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. 

Among the marginally attached, there were 599,000 discouraged workers in February, down by 133,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 millionpersons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 

US Jobless Rate Flat at 4.9%


BLS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
3/4/2016 1:36:51 PM