The U.S. economy gained 273,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 3.5%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages showed some improvement, rising 3.0% over last year.
In response to the February job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
Higher wage industries (moving up the chart) were part of job gains (moving right on the chart) but lower wage leisure & hospitality and education & health showed the biggest gains. Retail continued its weakness as the biggest job loser @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/QB3AzfQuRF— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) March 6, 2020
Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (57,000), leisure and hospitality (53,000), government (45,000), construction (42,000), professional and business services (32,000) and financial activities (26,000). Employment in other major industries—including mining, manufacturing, information, transportation and warehousing, wholesale trade, and retail trade—showed little change over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians declined a half of a percentage point in February to 2.5%. Unemployment rates for teenagers (11.0%), blacks (5.8%), Hispanics (4.4%), adult men (3.3%), whites (3.1%) and adult women (3.1%) showed little or no change.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) showed little change in February and accounted for 19.2% of the unemployed.