Nonfarm payroll employment continued to fall sharply in February (-651,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 7.6% to 8.1%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor reported recently. Payroll employment has declined by 2.6 million in the past 4 months. In February, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major industry sectors.
The number of unemployed persons increased by 851,000 to 12.5 million in February, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.1%. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by about 5.0 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 3.3 percentage points.
The unemployment rate continued to trend upward in February for adult men (8.1%), adult women (6.7%), whites (7.3%), blacks (13.4%), and Hispanics (10.9%). The jobless rate for teenagers was little changed at 21.6%. The unemployment rate for Asians was 6.9% in February, not seasonally adjusted.
Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs increased by 716,000 to 7.7 million in February. This measure has grown by 3.8 million in the last 12 months.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 270,000 to 2.9 million in February. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed was up by 1.6 million.