February employment: U.S. adds 242,000 jobs

The Employment Situation’ news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 242,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate and unemployed persons was unchanged at 4.9 percent and 7.8 million respectively. The BLS report revealed that the unemployment rate was down by 0.6 percentage point, and the number of unemployed persons down by 831,000, over the year. Employment grew in health care and social assistance, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and private educational services. Job losses continued in mining. The employment-population ratio edged up to 59.8 percent over the month, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 62.9 percent. Both measures have increased by 0.5 percentage point since September. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to as involuntary parttime workers) was unchanged in February at 6.0 million and has shown little movement since November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. The change in employment for December was revised from 262,000 jobs added to 271,000 jobs added and the change for January was revised from 151,000 jobs added to 172,000 jobs added. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January were 30,000 more than previously reported.]]>

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