Economic News Release

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until               USDL-15-0325
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, March 6, 2015

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- FEBRUARY 2015


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the 
unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, 
professional and business services, construction, health care, and in 
transportation and warehousing. Employment in mining was down over the month.

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate (5.5 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (8.7 
million) edged down in February. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number 
of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively. 
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers decreased by 1.7 
percentage points to 17.1 percent in February. The jobless rates for adult men (5.2 
percent), adult women (4.9 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (10.4 percent), 
Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little or no change. (See 
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little 
changed at 2.7 million in February. These individuals accounted for 31.1 percent 
of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed 
is down by 1.1 million. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in 
February and has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 to 62.9 percent since 
April 2014. The employment-population ratio was unchanged at 59.3 percent in 
February but is up by 0.5 percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred 
to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in February at 6.6 million. 
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working 
part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to 
find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In February, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, 
little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) 
These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for 
work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not 
counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks 
preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 732,000 discouraged workers in 
February, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally 
adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work 
because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million 
persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched 
for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 
(See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 295,000 in February, compared with 
an average monthly gain of 266,000 over the prior 12 months. Job gains occurred 
in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, 
construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment 
in mining declined over the month. (See table B-1.)

In February, food services and drinking places added 59,000 jobs. The industry 
had added an average of 35,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 51,000 in February 
and has risen by 660,000 over the year. In February, employment continued to 
trend up in management and technical consulting services (+7,000), computer 
systems design and related services (+5,000), and architectural and engineering 
services (+5,000).

Construction added 29,000 jobs in February. Employment in specialty trade 
contractors rose by 27,000, mostly in the residential component. Over the past 
12 months, construction has added 321,000 jobs.

In February, employment in health care rose by 24,000, with gains in ambulatory 
care services (+20,000) and hospitals (+9,000). Health care had added an average 
of 29,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.

Transportation and warehousing added 19,000 jobs in February, with most of the 
gain occurring in couriers and messengers (+12,000). Employment in transportation
and warehousing grew by an average of 14,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Employment in retail trade continued to trend up in February (+32,000) and has 
grown by 319,000 over the year.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in February (+8,000). Within the 
industry, petroleum and coal products lost 6,000 jobs, largely due to a strike.

Employment in mining decreased by 9,000 in February, with most of the decline in 
support activities for mining (-7,000). 

Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, 
financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

In February, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
was 34.6 hours for the fifth month in a row. The manufacturing workweek was 
unchanged at 41.0 hours in February, and factory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour 
to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on 
private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
rose by 3 cents to $24.78. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0
percent. In February, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and 
nonsupervisory employees were unchanged at $20.80. (See tables B-3 and B-8.) 

After revision, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December 
remained at +329,000, and the change for January was revised from +257,000 to 
+239,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January were 
18,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have 
averaged 288,000 per month.

_____________	
The Employment Situation for March is scheduled to be released on Friday, 
April 3, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).



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Last Modified Date: March 06, 2015
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