Although unemployment ticked up a bit to 3.6% from 3.4% in January as more than 400,000 people joined the workforce, US employers added 311,000 jobs in February. January’s job gains were only slightly weaker than initially reported, with 504,000 jobs added that month, according to the revised figures also out on Friday.
- Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 311,000 in February, compared with the average monthly gain of 343,000 over the prior 6 months.
- Leisure and hospitality added 105,000 jobs.
- Retail trade rose by 50,000 jobs.
- Government employment increased by 46,000.
- Professional and business services continued to trend up in February (+45,000), with again of 12,000 in management, scientific, and technical consulting services. Employment in professional and business services had increased by an average of 35,000 per month over the prior 6 months.
- Health care added 44,000 jobs in February, compared with the average monthly increase of 54,000 over the prior 6 months.
- Construction employment grew by 24,000.
- Employment in social assistance rose by 19,000.
- The information industry lost 25,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend down in motion picture and sound recording industries (-9,000) and in telecommunications (-3,000). Employment in information has decreased by 54,000 since November 2022.
- Transportation and warehousing lost 22,000 jobs.
In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents, or
0.2 percent, to $33.09. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.6 percent.
In February, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose
by 13 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $28.42. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)