Friday, March 06, 2015

February Employment Report: 295,000 Jobs, 5.5% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 3/06/2015 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
...
After revision, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December remained at +329,000, and the change for January was revised from +257,000 to +239,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January were 18,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 288,000 per month.
emphasis added
Payroll jobs added per monthClick on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed - mostly in 2010 - to show the underlying payroll changes).

Total payrolls increased by 295 thousand in February (private payrolls increased 288 thousand).

Payrolls for December and January were revised down by a combined 18 thousand.

Year-over-year change employmentThis graph shows the year-over-year change in total non-farm employment since 1968.

In February, the year-over-year change was 3.3 million jobs.

This was the highest year-over-year gain since end of the '90s.


Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment ratesThe third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

The Labor Force Participation Rate decreased in February to 62.8%. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force.   A large portion of the recent decline in the participation rate is due to demographics.

The Employment-Population ratio was unchanged at 59.3% (black line).

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

unemployment rateThe fourth graph shows the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate decreased in February to 5.5%.

This was above expectations of 230,000, and this was another solid report.

I'll have much more later ...