The political season must be upon us. With mainstream media trying to paint the employment picture as particularly rosy, the fact is unemployment figures remain very stubbornly above 8.3%. That does not even take into account many job seekers that have simply given up or dropped off the grid.
Wanted Analytics brings us the data:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this morning that employment rose by 227,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate held, unchanged, at 8.3% with an estimated 12.8 million American unemployed. This slightly beat economist’s expectations and marks the first time since early 2011 that payrolls have grown by over 200,000 for three months in a row. In addition to initial February results, December 2011 and January 2012 employment numbers were also adjusted, adding an additional 61,000 jobs.
The private sector once again accounted for job gains during February, while the public sector shed about 13,000. Within the private sector, 233,000 jobs were gained during February. The largest increase was seen in professional and business services (+82,000). More than half of this increase was seen in temporary help services with 45,000 jobs added. Other professional and business services areas with job growth included computer systems design (+10,000) and management or technical consulting services (+7,000). Other industries seeing growth were healthcare (+61,000), leisure and hospitality (44,000), manufacturing (+31,000), and mining (+7,000). Construction and retail sectors were relatively unchanged in February.
Along with the preliminary report for February, the BLS issued its final estimate of job gains for December to 223,000 jobs, up from last month’s revised 203,000. January’s preliminary estimate was also adjusted up 41,000 to 284,000 jobs gained.