The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in February and unemployment was little changed at 4.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages were up 2.8% from last February, but that growth is modest for this point in a recovery. This continues the recovery of the labor market at a tempered rate, which means the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee should continue to let the economy grow at this rate and not raise interest rates.
In response to the February jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Payroll up 235,000 in February only enough to keep unemployment at 4.7 %. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) March 10, 2017
Number of long term unemployed down 358,000 over last February @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) March 10, 2017
Labor force participation continues its recovery among Blacks (62.3 compared to last February 61.6) @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) March 10, 2017
Long term unemployed as share of the unemployed down to 23.8% from last February's 27.5% @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) March 10, 2017
Health care grows another 26,800 jobs in February, under ACA employment growth vital to recovery. Under threat now from "deform" @AFTunion— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) March 10, 2017
Last month’s biggest job gains were in construction (58,000), professional and business services (37,000), private educational services (29,000), manufacturing (28,000), health care employment (27,000), and mining (8,000). Retail trade employment was down in February (-26,000). Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change in February.
Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates in February decreased for whites (4.1%), Hispanics (5.6%) and Asians (3.4%). Rates increased for blacks (8.1%). Rates were little changed for adult men (4.3%), adult women (4.3%) and teenagers (15.0%).
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in February and accounted for 23.8% of the unemployed.