February Jobs ReportU.S. Job Growth Remains Strong

The labor market showed resiliency in February, adding 275,000 jobs, a sign that economic growth is still solid.

Monthly change in jobs

February Jobs Report Live Updates: U.S. Job Growth Remains Strong – The New York Times

Note: Data is seasonally adjusted.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

By Ella Koeze

If the economy is slowing down, nobody told the labor market.

Employers added 275,000 jobs in February, the Labor Department reported Friday, in another month to exceed expectations after January’s surprising surge. The unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent.

There is plenty of good news under the hood in this jobs report as well. For instance, the long-term unemployed as a share of the total unemployed population dropped to 18.7 percent from 20.8 percent. (It’s officially measured as being unemployed for 27 weeks or longer).

This suggests that even if laid-off workers are not getting snapped up by new employers immediately, there are still relatively few languishing on the sidelines for months on end. In the summer of 2011, coming out of the Great Recession, roughly 1 in 2 workers were long-term unemployed.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite jumped around after the numbers were announced but are drifting slightly higher in premarket trading, suggesting investors aren’t too worried the jobs numbers will drastically alter the Fed’s rate-cutting plans

One of the potential reasons for the slight pick up in the unemployment rate since the start of the year could be a tick upward in the number of Black and Hispanic workers seeking and not finding work. The white unemployment is still hovering near 3.4 percent, while both Black (5.6 percent) and Hispanic (5 percent) unemployment have risen about a percentage point from their historical lows this cycle.

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