Friday, March 7, 2014

Employment Gains Rebounding from Winter Weather in February

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 175,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. February’s report also included positive upward revisions to December and January, adding a combined additional 25,000 jobs.

The winter weather took a rough toll on employment gains in January and rebounded in February. Gains were across the board. The goods producing sector added 22,000 jobs in February, down from the 61,000 jobs added the month prior. Construction saw lower gains, adding 15,000 jobs in February. The private services industry saw a big growth from the month prior, increasing job growth by 140,000. Surprisingly, the government added 13,000 jobs as well, reversing a negative two-month trend.

Unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.7% as more people entered the labor force. The labor force participation rate remained the same at 63.0%. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) grew to 3.8 million, up from 3.6 million the month prior.

The Federal Reserve has begun tapering, however the lower than anticipated headline number could cause tapering to follow a slower than planned schedule. However, current Chairman of the Fed, Janet Yellen, expressed that she thinks the weak data is weather driven, and March should see more improvements and self-corrections.

Read the BLS report.

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