Nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (-36,000) in February, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7%, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. Employment fell in construction and information, while temporary help services added jobs. Severe winter weather in parts of the country may have affected payroll employment and hours; however, it is not possible to quantify precisely the net impact of the winter storms on these measures. For more information on the effects of the severe weather on employment estimates, see the box note at the end of the release.
In February, the number of unemployed persons, at 14.9 million, was essentially unchanged, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.7%.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.0%), adult women (8.0%), whites (8.8%), blacks (15.8%), Hispanics (12.4%), and teenagers (25.0%) showed little to no change in February. The jobless rate for Asians was 8.4%, not seasonally adjusted.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was 6.1 million in February and has been about that level since December. About 4 in 10 unemployed persons have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.
In February, the civilian labor force participation rate (64.8%) and the employment-population ratio (58.5%) were little changed.
The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased from 8.3 to 8.8 million in February, partially offsetting a large decrease in the prior month. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
About 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in February, an increase of 476,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in February, up by 473,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.