Economic News Release

Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

                          Statement of
                                
                         John M. Galvin
                       Acting Commissioner
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                
                      Friday, March 9, 2012
                                

     Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 in February,
and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent.  Over the
last 3 months, nonfarm job growth has averaged 245,000 per month.
Since a recent low point in February 2010, payroll employment has
risen by 3.5 million.  Over the month, employment rose in
professional and business services, health care and social
assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining.

     Employment in professional and business services increased
by 82,000 in February.  Employment in temporary help services
rose by 45,000; job gains also occurred in computer systems
design (+10,000) and in management and technical consulting
services (+7,000).

     Over the month, health care and social assistance added
61,000 jobs.  In health care, employment increased in hospitals
(+15,000), offices of physicians (+10,000), and outpatient care
centers (+4,000).  Over the past 12 months, employment in health
care rose by 360,000.  Employment in leisure and hospitality also
increased in February, as food services and drinking places added
41,000 jobs.

     Manufacturing employment rose by 31,000, with all of the
increase in durable goods manufacturing.  Durable goods
manufacturing has added 444,000 jobs since a recent trough in
January 2010.  In February, employment grew in fabricated metal
products, transportation equipment, machinery, and furniture.

     Mining added 7,000 jobs over the month.  Since its most
recent employment low in October 2009, the industry has added
180,000 jobs.  Seven in ten jobs gained during this period have
been in support activities for mining.

     In February, employment in most other major industries
changed little.  Within retail trade, a sizable job loss in
general merchandise stores (-35,000) more than offset a gain in
January (+23,000).  Employment in motor vehicles and parts
dealers continued to trend up in February.

     Employment in government has been flat for the past 2
months.  Since August 2008, employment in local government and
state government has declined by 498,000 and 149,000,
respectively.

     Average hourly earnings of all employees on nonfarm payrolls
increased by 3 cents in February to $23.31.  Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.9 percent.  From
January 2011 to January 2012, the Consumer Price Index for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 2.9 percent.

     Turning now to data from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent in February, with jobless
rates for the major worker groups showing little or no change.
The number of persons unemployed was essentially unchanged at
12.8 million, and the proportion who had been jobless for 27
weeks or more was 42.6 percent.

     In February, both the labor force and the number of employed
persons increased.  The labor force participation rate and the
employment-population ratio edged up to 63.9 and 58.6 percent,
respectively.  Among the employed, the number of individuals
working part time who preferred full-time work was about
unchanged at 8.1 million.

     Among persons who were neither working nor looking for work
in February, 2.6 million were classified as marginally attached
to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier.  These
individuals wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked
for a job within the last 12 months.  The number of discouraged
workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no
jobs were available for them, was about unchanged in February
from a year earlier at 1.0 million.

     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000
in February, and the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent.

Last Modified Date: March 09, 2012
Recommend this page using: