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Thursday, March 6, 2014

February 2014 Unemployment Rate; Jobs

February 2014 Jobs Numbers and Unemployment Rate were released Friday, March 7, 2014.  

February BLS Highlights:

  • Despite the miserable weather during February, the BLS reports that 175,000 payroll jobs were added, more than the 140,000 to 150,000 jobs expected by the "pundits".  
  • December jobs numbers were revised upwards by 9,000 and January numbers were revised upwards  by 16,000.  Job growth has averaged 189,000/month over the past 12 months.  
  • Private jobs increased by 162,000.
  • Government jobs increased by 13,000. 
  • Unemployment rate ticked back up to 6.7% (from 6.6%).  The unemployment rate increased due mostly to people re-entering or entering the labor force and starting to look for work.  (The unemployment rate comes from a different source than the number of jobs which is why the unemployment rate can increase even if the number of jobs increases.  Over time, these two numbers closely parallel each other.  The unemployment rate, however, is much more volatile than the jobs numbers.  Also, the unemployment rate is not directed related to the number of people getting unemployment benefits.  This is one of the biggest employment myths out there. MORE HERE.)   
  • The alternate unemployment rate (which includes part time workers who want full time jobs, discouraged workers, and marginally attached workers) DECREASED to 12.6%, a decrease of .1%, one-tenth of a percent.  This is the lowest that it has been since October 2008, over five years ago.  One year ago the alternate unemployment rate was 14.3%.   The change was due primarily to a decrease in the number of involuntary part-time workers; that is, the number of people working part-time because they can't find full-time work, and a decrease in the number of "marginally attached" workers; that is, those who are ready to take a job but who did not look for work for some reason during the month.     
  • The labor force increased by 264,000 in February.
  • The number of people employed, including agricultural and self-employed, increased 42,000 in February, with an increase of 163,000 employed full-time.
  • Since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 in seasonally adjusted numbers:
    • 8.0 million MORE jobs in total
    • 8.7 million MORE private sector jobs
    • 7.2 million MORE people working* 
    Since Bush left office & Obama took office (January 2009) in seasonally adjusted numbers:
    • 3.7 million MORE jobs in total
    • 4.5 million MORE private sector jobs
    • 3.0 million MORE people working*

February 2014 reports to be published: (Notation on the links will be changed to "Updated for February" when the updated reports become available.) 

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