February Jobs Report: Strong Growth With A Few Blemishes

HEADLINES:

  • +397,000 million jobs added: 465,000 private sector minus - 86,000 government. The alternate, and more volatile measure in the household report indicated a gain of 208,000 jobs, which factors into the unemployment and underemployment rates below.
  • U3 unemployment rate declined 0.1% at 6.2%, compared with the January 2020 low of 3.5%.
  • U6 underemployment rate was unchanged at 11.1%, compared with the January 2020 low of 6.9%.
  • Those on temporary layoff decreased 517,000 to 2,229,000.
  • Permanent job losers decreased 6,000 to 3,497,000.
  • December was revised downward by 79,000, while January was revised upward by 87,000, for a net gain of 38,000 jobs compared with previous reports.

Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession

I am still highlighting these because of their leading nature for the economy overall.  These were mixed but more positive than negative: 

  • the average manufacturing workweek decreased to 40.2 hours. This is one of the 10 components of the LEI.
  • Manufacturing jobs increased by 21,000. YoY manufacturing has still lost -561,000, or 4.4% of the total. About 60% of the total loss of 10.6% has been regained.
  • Construction jobs decreased by 61,000 (probably reflecting poor weather, even for winter, in places like Texas in February) . YoY -175,000 construction jobs have been lost, 4.0% of the total. About 75% of the worst loss of 15.2% loss has been regained.
  • Residential construction jobs, which are even more leading, *rose* by 5,300. YoY there have been actual job gains, and employment in this sector is at another new 10 year+ high.
  • temporary jobs increased by 52,700. YoY, there have still been 175,100 jobs lost, or 6% of all temporary help jobs.
  • the number of people unemployed for 5 weeks or less declined by -93,000 to 2.185 million, compared with last April’s total of 14.283 million.
  • Professional and business employment rose by 63,000, which is still 771,000, or about 3.6% below its peak one year ago.
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Disclaimer: This blog contains opinions and observations. It is not professional advice in any way, shape or form and should not be construed that way. In other words, buyer beware.

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