The February 2012 unemployment rate remained unchanged from last month and sits at 8.3 percent. A total of 227,000 net nonfarm payroll jobs were added last month with 233,000 new jobs being added in the private sector.
The report also included an announcement that the employment growth over the last two months was better than initially reported. December 2011’s numbers went from +203,000 jobs to +223,000 jobs and January 2012’s figure was revised from +243,000 new jobs to +284,000 new jobs.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis released a statement with her thoughts on February’s employment report. "We've had 24 straight months of private sector job growth, adding more than 3.9 million jobs to an economy that was bleeding almost 800,000 jobs in a single month when President Obama took office. U.S. job growth over the last six months has been the strongest since before the recession began in 2006.” Source: Department of Labor
Job growth remained strong in professional and business services with an additional 82,000 jobs created last month. More than half of these jobs, 45,000, were in the temporary help services sector. Hopefully the bulk of those 45,000 jobs will turn into permanent and full-time work opportunities.
The health care industry also saw solid job growth with 61,00 new jobs added in February. Ambulatory care services were responsible for 28,000 of these jobs and 15,000 new positions were added in the hospital employment sector.
Leisure and hospitality also saw job growth with a total of 44,000 jobs being created last month. Of these 44,000 new jobs, 41,000 were in food services and drinking places. Perhaps more Americans are feeling comfortable with the state of the economy and are spending more of their discretionary income on eating out.
Overall, the February 2012 employment situation summary brings a bit of good news even though the unemployment rate stayed the same. I’m looking forward to the day when the monthly job report shows 500,000+ new jobs added, though.