March 09, 2004
Total nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (+21,000) in February, at 130.2 million, seasonally adjusted. Since August 2003, payroll employment has risen by 364,000.
Construction employment declined by 24,000 in February, partly offsetting a large increase in January. Since last March, construction employment has risen by 123,000.
Manufacturing employment was about unchanged over the month; the pace of job losses in this sector has slowed in recent months. Since August, job losses in manufacturing have averaged 16,000 a month, compared with an average loss of 62,000 for the first 8 months of 2003.
Within the financial activities sector, securities, commodity contracts, and investments added 4,000 jobs in February. While employment in the securities industry has grown by 18,000 since last August, credit intermediation (which includes mortgage banking) has lost 22,000 jobs over the same period.
Employment in temporary help services rose by 32,000 over the month, after a small loss in January. Since April 2003, the temporary help industry has added 215,000 jobs.
Private education and health services employment was little changed in February but increased by 291,000 over the past 12 months. Within government, state government added 20,000 jobs in February, largely in state education.
Payroll employment data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. The above data are seasonally adjusted. Data for January and February 2004 are preliminary and subject to revision. For more information, see "The Employment Situation: February 2004" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL. 04-338.