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US Employment Situation (Excerpts)

March 10 2023 - Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 311,000 in February, and the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 points to 3.6 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government, and health care. Employment declined in information and in transportation and warehousing.

Leisure and hospitality added 105,000 jobs in February, similar to the average monthly gain of 91,000 over the prior 6 months. Food services and drinking places added 70,000 jobs in February, and employment continued to trend up in accommodation (+14,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level by 410,000, or 2.4 percent.

Employment in retail trade rose by 50,000 in February, reflecting a gain in general merchandise retailers (+39,000). Retail trade employment is little changed on net over the year.

Government employment increased by 46,000 in February, about the same as the average monthly gain of 44,000 over the prior 6 months. Employment in local government continued to trend up in February (+37,000). Overall, employment in government is below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level by 376,000, or 1.6 percent.

Health care added 44,000 jobs in February, compared with the average monthly increase of 54,000 over the prior 6 months. In February, job growth occurred in hospitals (+19,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities (+14,000)

Construction employment grew by 24,000 in February, in line with the average monthly growth of 20,000 over the prior 6 months.

Transportation and warehousing lost 22,000 jobs in February, including 9,000 in truck transportation. Employment in transportation and warehousing is down by 42,000 since October 2022.

Employment in social assistance rose by 19,000 in February, similar to the average monthly gain of 22,000 over the prior 6 months.

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in February (+45,000), with a gain of 12,000 in management, scientific, and technical consulting services. Employment in professional and business services had increased by an average of 35,000 per month over the prior 6 months.

Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; financial activities; and other services.

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $33.09. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.6 percent. In February, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 13 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $28.42.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in February. In manufacturing, the average workweek edged down by 0.2 hour to 40.3 hours, and overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.0 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.2 hour to 33.9 hours.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor



 
 
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