The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000 in February, and the unemployment rate dipped by one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.9 percent.
The labor force was basically unchanged over the course of the month. Since November 2010, the jobless rate has gone down by nine-tenths of a percentage point.
Job gains in February mainly occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and business services, health care, transportation and warehousing.
The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, at 8.3 million, continued to trend down in February and has fallen by 1.2 million over the past 12 months. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 6.0 million and accounted for 43.9 percent of the unemployed.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was essentially unchanged at 8.3 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.
Employment in the service-providing sector continued to expand in February, led by a gain of 47,000 in professional and business services. Employment services added 29,000 jobs, and employment rose by 7,000 in management and technical consulting. Within employment services, the number of jobs in temporary help services edged up over the month.
“The jobs numbers, while encouraging, are a reminder that our economic recovery remains on thin ice,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich. “After nearly two years of devastating job losses, the unemployment rate is still too high and we still have a long way to go. We must be mindful of how policies developed in Washington can and are directly impacting the ability of employers to create jobs. To create more robust growth, we need to get Washington out of the way of private businesses and that starts with streamlining the Tax Code, passing the pending free trade agreements so American businesses can make and sell more goods, and getting federal spending under control so the debt isn’t crushing families and job creators.”
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