The U.S. economy added 242,000 jobs in February and unemployment was 4.9%, unchanged from January, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This continues the record string of months with job growth.
In response to the February jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted the following:
Three straight months of labor force participation increases from 59.4 in Nov to 59.8, workers coming back @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) March 4, 2016
Number of discouraged workers down 133,000 from a year ago, shows in growing labor force participation @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) March 4, 2016
Last month’s biggest job gains were in health care and social assistance (57,000), retail trade (55,000), food services and drinking places (40,000), private educational services (28,000) and construction (19,000). The mining industry continued to see losses. According to BLS, other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, professional and business services, and government, showed little change over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (4.5%), adult women (4.5%), teenagers (15.6%), whites (4.3%), blacks (8.8%), Asians (3.8%) and Latinos (5.4%) showed little or no change.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.2 million in January and accounted for 27.7% of the unemployed.