Some months, I wish the BLS’ Employment Situation Report had a face, just so I could punch it. (Who’s with me? Anyone?)
February, however, was not one of those months.
Not only did the economy add 192,000 jobs last month, but the unemployment rate fell to its lowest rate in two years: 8.9 percent.
It’s worth noting that these numbers are still far below the 300,000 jobs needed in order to see a significant difference in the unemployment rate; however, we did surpass the 150,000 needed in order to keep pace with the population growth.
In other words, while today’s report might not exactly be Oprah-Winfrey-telling-us-we-all-get-a-new-car good news, considering where we were last month, I’d say it’s at least Oscar-winner-Colin-Firth-makes-a-surprise-appearance-on-today’s-Ellen exciting. (Or as FAO economist Robert Brusca succinctly puts it: “short of ebullient but good enough.”) Who’s with me?
This month’s report is especially hopeful for job seekers, as it illustrates employers’ increasing confidence in hiring and a growing job market. Want even further proof of the growing job market? Check out the featured employers hiring this week. While you’re at it, expand your search and check out which cities offer the best opportunities for your career interests.
For more findings from the report, see below (or check out the full press release here):
- State and local government cut 30,000 jobs, while federal government hiring was flat. Private employers added 222,000 jobs – the most since April.
- The number of unemployed persons decreased slightly from 13.9 million in January to 13.7 million in February.
- Hiring increased across several industries, with manufacturing and construction both adding 33,000 jobs in February; while professional and business services added 47,000 jobs. Health care employment increased with 34,000 new jobs, as did transportation and warehousing employment with 22,000.
- The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.2 hours, and average hourly earnings increased by 1 cent to $22.87.