Friday, March 6, 2020

February's Jobs Report

February was another huge month for the jobs market, the Labor Department reported this morning: The U.S. economy added 273,000 new jobs during the month. The headline unemployment rate ticked back down to 3.5 percent, matching its lowest level in more than 50 years.

There was more good news for the jobs market: the previous two months’ estimates were revised higher by a total of 85,000. December moved up from 147,000 to 184,000, while January went from 225,000 to 273,000. Those revisions brought the three-month average up to a robust 243,000; the average monthly gain in 2019 was 178,000.

Health care and social assistance led the way in February with 57,000 new jobs. Food services and drinking places both added 53,000 while government employment grew by 45,000 due to Census hiring and state government education. Construction added 42,000 thanks to continued mild weather, while professional and technical services added 32,000 and finance added 26,000, part of a 160,000 gain over the past 12 months.

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