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Friday, March 07, 2008

Jobs: Nonfarm Payrolls Decline 63,000 in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/07/2008 08:39:00 AM

From the BLS: Employment Situation Summary

Nonfarm payroll employment edged down in February (-63,000), and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Employment fell in manufacturing, construction, and retail trade. Job growth continued in health care and in food services.
Residential Construction Employment Click on graph for larger image.

Residential construction employment declined 25,700 in February, and including downward revisions to previous months, is down 407.1 thousand, or about 11.8%, from the peak in February 2006. (compared to housing starts off over 50%).

The second graph shows the unemployment rate and the year-over-year change in employment vs. recessions.

Employment Measures and Recessions
Although unemployment was slightly lower - as people leave the workforce - the rise in unemployment, from a cycle low of 4.4% to 4.8% is a recession warning.

Also concerning is the YoY change in employment is less than 1%, also suggesting a recession.

Overall this is a weak report.