227,000 new jobs; Black unemployment at 14.1%; National rate steady at 8.3%
The biggest news in the monthly labor report was the increase in the labor force participation rate. The rate jumped up 0.2% as an additional 476,000 joined the labor force since February. There were 227,000 more jobs but the national rate stayed at 8.3% because of the increased labor pool.
Private sector hiring added 233,00 to the worker rolls and government employment dropped only 6,000 spots. Job growth was spread across important sectors of the economy like durable goods manufacturing, temp help, health care, and food and drinking establishments. The losers were construction., non durable goods, and retail trade. Federal government employment was down by -7K accounting for all of the decrease in public jobs.
The black rate bounced up to 14.1% because of the number of black workers looking for jobs increased by 111,000. In other words more black people were also returning to the labor market.
The white unemployment rate moved down 0.1% to 7.3% and the Hispanic rate was up 0.2% to 10.7%. The black teenage unemployment was reported at 35%.
The decrease in the employment continued to help President Obama. The Dow-Jones stock market index was above 13,200 while the Nasdaq index was over 3,000. Weekly unemployment claims were reported at 359,000.
The long-term unemployed stuck to the 5.4 million people which represents 43% of the unemployed. The figure for the long-term unemployed has not moved during the recession meaning a large number of people no longer “fit” in the tight job market. Many consider the long-term unemployed as representing the structurally unemployed. The economy has changed and these workers do not have a place anymore.
If we look at the establishment data we see that hiring was strong across some areas of the economy: 227,000 jobs added. Now let’s look at the details.
There were gains in business services(+82,000), health care(+49,000), leisure and hospitality(+44,000) and manufacturing(+31K). Retail employment at department stores dropped -25,000 and construction dropped by -13K.
Non-farm payrolls were revised in December upward by +20K (from 203,000 to 223,000) and in January by +41,000(from 243K to 284K).
Average work week was unchanged at 34.5 hours and wages added 3 cents in February a $0.04 raise in January.
ADP and Monster also reported results. ADP reported an increase in payrolls of 216,000 positions.
Monster Employment Index moved up to 143 in February from 133 in January. Hiring was up 11% compared to same month last year but down 2% for the month.
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