Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.9%, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and business services, health care, and transportation and warehousing.
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons (13.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.9%) changed little in February. The labor force was about unchanged over the month. The jobless rate was down by 0.9 percentage points since November 2010.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.7%), adult women (8.0%), teenagers (23.9%), whites (8.0%), blacks (15.3%), and Hispanics (11.6 percent) showed little or no change in February. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.8%, not seasonally adjusted.
The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, at 8.3 million, continued to trend down in February and has fallen by 1.2 million over the past 12 months. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 6.0 million and accounted for 43.9% of the unemployed.
Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.2%, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.4%, were unchanged in February.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.3 million in February. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
In February, 2.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, up from 2.5 million a year earlier. (These 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 1.0 million discouraged workers in February, a decrease of 184,000 from a year earlier. (These 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 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.