For the first time in nearly two years, the official unemployment rate starts with an eight. The last time we saw an unemployment rate below 9.0 percent was in April 2009 when the rate jumped to 8.9 percent. In February 2011 the rate also hit 8.9 percent, but this was a drop from the January 2011 unemployment rate of 9.0 percent.
Yesterday’s unemployment insurance weekly report brought good news – there were only 368,000 new unemployment claims filed, 20,000 fewer than the week prior. The February 2011 employment situation summary helps explain this drop – 192,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added during the month. Although there were nearly 200,000 jobs added last month, there are still 13.7 million unemployed people in the nation.
New jobs were added in the following industries:
- Manufacturing – 33,000 jobs
- Construction – 33,000 jobs
- Professional and business services – 47,000 jobs
- Health care – 34,000 jobs
- Transportation and warehousing – 22,000 jobs