Today’s jobs report is mostly good news. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports,
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 678,000 in February, and the unemployment
rate edged down to 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional
and business services, health care, and construction.
Calculated Risk comments,
This was a strong report with upward revisions to prior months.
The headline jobs number in the February employment report was above expectations, and employment for the previous two months was revised up by 92,000. The participation rate and the employment-population ratio both increased, and the unemployment rate decreased to 3.8%.Leisure and hospitality gained 179 thousand jobs in February. In March and April of 2020, leisure and hospitality lost 8.20 million jobs, and are now down 1.53 million jobs since February 2020. So, leisure and hospitality has now added back about 81% all of the jobs lost in March and April 2020.
The U.S. economy posted the strongest job growth in seven months in February and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since the pandemic, signs of a strong labor market ahead of a pivotal Federal Reserve meeting.
And a caution about the data.
Friday’s report offers a snapshot of the labor market in mid-February, when the government surveyed households and businesses to produce the latest employment figures. That timing means the numbers don’t show what effect, if any, Russia’s late-February invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent run-up in oil prices have had on the labor market.
The latest data show the labor force grew by 304,000 workers, a potential sign the effects of the pandemic—such as people not being able to work because they were sick or businesses scaling back hours due to the virus—are fading.