March 16, 2018
U.S. Economy Shows Promise with Employment Growth
Employers added 313,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent making the number of people unemployed the same at 6.7 million.
In February, the number of long-term unemployed was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million which accounts for 20.7 percent of people that are currently unemployed. Overall, the number of long-term unemployed has been down by 369,000 for 2018. With the civilian labor force rising to 806,000, the labor force participation rate also increased by 0.3 percentage point to 60.4 percent in February.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons—referred to as involuntary part-time workers was changed slightly at 5.2 million. Also, these individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were only working part time due to their hours being cut or not being able to find jobs that offer full-time employment. In addition, the 1.6 million people that were marginally attached to the labor force only changed slightly compared to the year prior. With these individuals not being part of the labor force, they had either been available for work or looking for employment for the past 12 months.
The U.S. economy added over 50,000 jobs in construction, retail trade, professional and business services while Manufacturing increased by 31,000 jobs. Major industries like, wholesale trade, leisure and hospitality, and government showed little change over the course of the month. In February, average hourly earnings rose by 4 cents to $26.75, following a 7-cent gain in January. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 68 cents/2.6 percent. The average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to $22.40 in February.
This month’s job report highlights a winning combination of a large increase in job creation and a growing workforce revealing strength in our economy. In addition, the modest wage growth defused concerns that competition for workers was driving up salaries and igniting inflation.