The economy added 175,000 jobs in February—62,000 more than the January job gain but still far below what is needed for recovery—and the nation’s unemployment rate was nearly unchanged at 6.7%, compared with January’s 6.6%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of long-term unemployed people (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose by 203,000, increasing the number of long-term jobless workers to 3.8 million. But even as the number of long-term unemployed is increasing, congressional Republicans continue to block efforts to revive the Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits, which House Republicans allowed to expire at the end of last year. So far, 2 million jobless workers have lost benefits and that number will continue to rise.
AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee says:
It may be March, but the February jobs report feels like Groundhog Day all over again. The economy added only 175,000 jobs last month—not nearly enough to dig us out of the jobs hole left by the Great Recession. Meanwhile, there are 203,000 more long-term unemployed people in the last month—reinforcing the desperate need for Congress to renew unemployment insurance. More than 2 million workers have exhausted their unemployment benefits since Congress failed to act at the end of December. We urge Sen. Mark Kirk to stand up and be the one Senate vote needed to pass the UI extension.
Call your representatives at 845-809-4509 and urge them to pass the emergency unemployment benefits extension.
Last month, employment grew in professional and business services (79,000 jobs), food services (21,000 jobs), wholesale trade (15,000 jobs), construction (15,000 jobs) and health care (10,000 jobs).
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, financial activities and government, changed little over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.4%), adult women (5.9%), whites (5.8%), blacks (12%) and Latinos (8.1%) changed little in February.