Commissioner's Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

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                          Statement of
                                
                           Keith Hall
                          Commissioner                                
                   Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                
                      Friday, March 4, 2011
                                
     
     In February, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000, and
private-sector employment increased by 222,000.  The unemployment
rate was little changed at 8.9 percent, following large declines
in December and January.  From its recent low point in February
2010, payroll employment has increased by 1.3 million, or an
average of 106,000 per month.  Over the same period, private-
sector employment rose by 1.5 million, or an average of 127,000
per month.  In February, job growth occurred in manufacturing,
construction, professional and business services, health care,
and transportation and warehousing.
     
     Manufacturing employment continued to rise (+33,000) in
February.  Since its recent low in December 2009, manufacturing
has added 195,000 jobs.  Almost all of the February gain was in
durable goods, most notably in fabricated metal products (+7,000)
and machinery (+9,000).  Over the month, the factory workweek
rose by 0.1 hour and overtime by 0.2 hour.
     
     Construction employment rose by 33,000 in February,
following a job loss of 22,000 in January that may have been
related to severe winter weather.  Over the month, employment
increased among both residential and nonresidential specialty
trade contractors.
     
     In the service-providing sector, professional and business
services employment expanded by 47,000 over the month and has
increased by 601,000 since a recent low point in September 2009.
Much of the February gain was in employment services (+29,000)
and in management and technical consulting services (+7,000).
Within employment services, the number of jobs in temporary help
services edged up over the month.
     
     Employment in health care rose by 34,000 in February, mostly
in ambulatory health care services (+17,000) and in nursing and
residential care facilities (+15,000).
     
     Employment in transportation and warehousing grew by 22,000
in February.  Over the past 12 months, this industry has added
103,000 jobs.  Half of the increase in February was due to a gain
in truck transportation.
     
     Employment in both state and local governments edged down
over the month.  Local government employment has declined by
377,000 since its peak in September 2008.
     
     Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 1 cent in February to $22.87.  Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7 percent.  From
January 2010 to January 2011, the Consumer Price Index for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.7 percent.
     
     Most measures from the survey of households showed little
movement in February.  At 8.9 percent, the unemployment rate
changed little over the month but is down from 9.8 percent in
November.  Of the 13.7 million unemployed in February, 43.9
percent had been jobless for 27 weeks or more, essentially the
same as in the prior month.  In February, the labor force
participation rate was unchanged at 64.2 percent.
     
     In summary, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 over
the month, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.9
percent.
     
     

Last Modified Date: March 04, 2011