Friday, March 09, 2018

February Employment Report: 313,000 Jobs Added, 4.1% Unemployment Rate

by Bill McBride on 3/09/2018 08:42:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 313,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in construction, retail trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities, and mining.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up from +160,000 to +175,000, and the change for January was revised up from +200,000 to +239,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 54,000 more than previously reported.
In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $26.75, following a 7-cent gain in January. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 68 cents, or 2.6 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 313 thousand in February (private payrolls increased 287 thousand).

Payrolls for December and January were revised up by a combined 54 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 2.281 million jobs.

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

Employment Pop Ratio, participation and unemployment rates The Labor Force Participation Rate was 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 60.4% (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 was unchanged in February at 4.1%. 

This was well above the consensus expectations of 205,000 jobs, and the previous two months combined were revised up 54,000.

A strong report.

I'll have much more later ...