Payrolls come in stronger than expected at 175K

Headline unemployment ticks up to 6.7%


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.7%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services and in wholesale trade but declined in information.


Effect of Winter Storms on Employment Estimates   

Severe winter weather occurred in much of the country during the February reference periods for the establishment and household surveys. For information on how weather can affect employment and hours data, see Question 8 in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this release.     

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons (10.5 million) and the unemployment rate (6.7%) changed little in February. The jobless rate has shown little movement since December. Over the year, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.6 million and one percentage point, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.4%), adult women (5.9%), teenagers (21.4%), whites (5.8%), blacks (12%), and Hispanics (8.1%) showed little or no change in February. The jobless rate for Asians was 6%(not seasonally adjusted), about unchanged over the year. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 203,000 in February to 3.8 million; these individuals accounted for 37% of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed was down by 901,000 over the year. (See table A-12.)

 Both the civilian labor force participation rate (63%) and the employment-population ratio (58.8%) were unchanged in February. The labor force participation rate was down a half a percentage point from a year ago, while the employment-population ratio was little changed 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 at 7.2 million in February. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work. (See table A-8.)

In February, 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, a decline of 285,000 over the year. (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 755,000 discouraged workers in  February, down by 130,000 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 1.5 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.)


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