March 09, 2009
In February, employment declined in most major industry sectors, with the largest losses occurring in professional and business services, manufacturing, and construction. Health care continued to add jobs over the month.
Employment in professional and business services fell by 180,000 in February. The temporary help industry lost 78,000 jobs over the month. Since December 2007, temporary help employment has declined by 686,000, or 27 percent.
Widespread job losses continued in manufacturing in February (-168,000). The majority of the decline occurred in durable goods industries (-132,000); employment in nondurable goods manufacturing declined by 36,000 over the month.
The construction industry lost 104,000 jobs in February. Employment in the industry has fallen by 1.1 million since peaking in January 2007. Two-fifths of that decline occurred over the last 4 months.
Employment in financial activities continued to decline in February (-44,000). The number of jobs in this industry has dropped by 448,000 since an employment peak in December 2006, with half of this loss occurring in the past 6 months.
Retail trade employment fell by 40,000 over the month and has declined by 608,000 since December 2007. Employment in wholesale trade fell by 37,000 over the month, with nearly all of the decline occurring in durable goods.
Health care continued to add jobs in February, with a gain of 27,000. Job growth occurred in ambulatory health care and in hospitals.
These data are from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program, and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent two months are preliminary. More information can be found in "The Employment Situation: February 2009" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0224.