Friday, March 06, 2020

February Employment Report: 273,000 Jobs Added (266,000 ex-Census), 3.5% Unemployment Rate

by Calculated Risk on 3/06/2020 08:42:00 AM

From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 273,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, government, construction, professional and technical services, and financial activities.
...
Federal employment increased by 8,000, reflecting the hiring of 7,000 temporary workers for the 2020 Census.
...
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up by 37,000 from +147,000 to +184,000, and the change for January was revised up by 48,000 from +225,000 to +273,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 85,000 higher than previously reported.
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In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 9 cents to $28.52. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.0 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 266 thousand in February ex-Census (private payrolls increased 228 thousand).

Payrolls for December and January were revised up 85 thousand combined.

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 2.409 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 unchanged at 63.4% in February. 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 and long term trends.

The Employment-Population ratio decreased to 61.1% (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 3.5%.

This was well above consensus expectations of 175,000 jobs added, and December and January were revised up by 85,000 combined.

I'll have much more later ...