Friday, March 07, 2014

February Employment Report: 175,000 Jobs, 6.7% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 3/07/2014 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. ...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from +75,000 to +84,000, and the change for January was revised from +113,000 to +129,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January were 25,000 higher than previously reported.
...
Percent Job Losses During RecessionsClick on graph for larger image.

The headline number was above expectations of 150,000 payroll jobs added.

The first graph shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms, compared to previous post WWII recessions. The dotted line is ex-Census hiring.

This shows the depth of the recent employment recession - worse than any other post-war recession - and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis.

Payroll jobs added per month
Employment is 0.5% below the pre-recession peak (666 thousand fewer total jobs).

NOTE: The second graph is the change in payroll jobs ex-Census - meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed to show the underlying payroll changes.

The third graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate increased in February to 6.7% from 6.6% in January.

unemployment rate
The fourth graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged in February at 63.0%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. 

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years, although a significant portion of the recent decline is due to demographics.


The Employment-Population ratio was unchanged in February at 58.8% (black line).

I'll post the 25 to 54 age group employment-population ratio graph later.

This was a decent employment report considering the recent harsh weather.  I'll have much more later ...

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