Non-farm payroll employment increased by 262,000 in February and the unemployment rate edged up to 5.4 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job growth occurred in both goods-producing and service-providing industries. A quick review of the report reveals the following:
– Both the number of unemployed persons, 8.0 million, and the unemployment rate, 5.4 percent, returned to their December levels after dipping in January.
– The number of long-term unemployed–those unemployed for 27 weeks and over–remained at 1.6 million.
– Total employment was about unchanged at 140.1 million,seasonally adjusted. The employment-population ratio–the proportion of the population age 16 and over with jobs–was little changed over the month at 62.3 percent.
– Over the year, the number of persons who held more than one job increased by 432,000 to 7.7 million, not seasonally adjusted. These multiple jobholders represented 5.5 percent of total employment in February, up from 5.3 percent a year earlier.
– Construction employment rose by 30,000 in February. Since its most recent low point in March 2003, the industry has added 458,000 jobs.
– Manufacturing added 20,000 jobs, with motor vehicles and parts accounting for about half of the job gain. While total manufacturing employment edged up over the year, it has shown little net change since mid-2004.
– Employment in a number of service-providing industries grew over the month. Professional and business services employment expanded by 81,000 in February. Within this sector, sizable increases occurred in employment services (38,000), services to buildings and dwellings (14,000), and architectural and engineering services (7,000). Within employment services, temporary help services added 30,000 jobs in February and 207,000 jobs over the year.
– Retail trade employment increased by 30,000 in February, with small gains distributed throughout this industry. Over the year, retail trade has added 135,000 jobs. Wholesale trade employment was essentially flat in February; employment in the industry has been trending upward, however, and has grown by 94,000 since its most recent low in August 2003.
– Within the financial activities sector, employment growth continued in credit intermediation and related activities. The industry added 11,000 jobs in February, with commercial banks accounting for about 5,000 of the gain.
– Health care employment rose by 23,000 over the month. Since February 2004, this industry has gained 262,000 jobs. Over the month, employment increased in ambulatory health care services (12,000) and in hospitals (6,000).
– In the leisure and hospitality sector, food services and drinking places added 27,000 jobs in February. Over the year, leisure and hospitality employment increased by 268,000, with strong gains in both food services and accommodations.
– The average workweek for production or nonsupervisory workers on private, non-farm payrolls was unchanged in February, at 33.7 hours, seasonally adjusted. The manufacturing workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.5 hours, the same level as in November and December.
– Average hourly earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers on private, non-farm payrolls were unchanged over the month at $15.90, seasonally adjusted. This followed a 5-cent increase in January. Average weekly earnings also were unchanged in February at $535.83. Over the year, average hourly earnings grew by 2.5 percent and average weekly earnings increased by 2.2 percent.Details