Friday, March 10, 2017

February Employment Report: 235,000 Jobs, 4.7% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 3/10/2017 08:42:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in construction, private educational services, manufacturing, health care, and mining.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised down from +157,000 to +155,000, and the change for January was revised up from +227,000 to +238,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 9,000 more than previously reported.
...
In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $26.09, following a 5-cent increase in January. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 71 cents, or 2.8 percent.
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 235 thousand in February (private payrolls increased 227 thousand).

Payrolls for December and January were revised up by a combined 9 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 2.35 million jobs.  This is a solid year-over-year gain.


The third graph shows the employment population ratio and the participation rate.

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate increased in February to 63.0%. 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 increased to 60.0% (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 4.7%.

This was above expectations of 195,000 jobs, and the previous two months were revised up slightly (combined).  Another solid report.

I'll have much more later ...