March 11, 2019
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in February, with just 20,000 jobs created, the smallest in well over a year. The unemployment rate declined to 3.8%, and year-over-year wage growth was 3.4%, the largest increase in nearly a decade.
Employment in professional and business services, health care, and wholesale trade continued to trend up, while construction employment decreased.
By comparison, employment increased by 311,000 in January and in 2018, job growth averaged 223,000 per month.
The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point in February, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million. Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs (including people on temporary layoff) declined by 225,000. This decline reflects, in part, the return of federal workers who were furloughed in January due to the partial government shutdown.
In February, the number of long-term unemployed was essentially unchanged at 1.3 million, and accounted for 20.4% of the unemployed. The labor force participation rate held at 63.2% in February, and has changed little over the year.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser