US added 227,000 jobs in February, unemployment unchanged at 8.3%

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.8 million, was essentially unchanged in February. The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent, 0.8 percentage point below the August 2011 rate.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.7 percent), adult women (7.7 percent), teenagers (23.8 percent), whites (7.3 percent), blacks (14.1 percent), and Hispanics (10.7 percent) showed little or no change in February. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.4 million in February. These individuals accounted for 42.6 percent of the unemployed.

Both the labor force and employment rose in February. The civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, edged up over the month.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.1 million in February. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

In February, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged 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.

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.0 million discouraged workers in February, about the same as 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 1.6 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

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