The February unemployment rate was unchanged from January, staying at at 8.3%. In conjunction, the Prime Credit Card Chargeoff Index for February continued improvement, dropping another 10 basis points (bps) from the previous month to 5.23%. While the number of unemployed persons stayed at 12.8 million, defaults are now at the lowest levels in four years and are down 37% year over year and late stage delinquencies remained steady at 2.26% for a two-year month over month decline low, 27% lower than the year ago period.
While long-term unemployed for 27 weeks and over remained at 5.4 million in February, accounting for 42.6% of the total, early stage delinquencies dropped four bps to 3.06%. Early stage delinquencies performance, however, was not so promising, up 13 bps to 4.95% while delinquencies more than 60 days increased marginally by 12 bps to 3.40%.. Meanwhile, involuntary part-time workers due to layoffs and the like were also unchanged, staying at 8.1 million. People who make money pay there bills.