The employment picture in the U.S. continued to brighten, with employers outside of the agriculture businesses adding some 227,000 new positions in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning.
The key monthly employment report showed gains topped expectations slightly, beating Wall Street consensus for a 210,000 jump.
"Employment rose in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining," the BLS said in a statement.
Excluding those employed in the public sector, payrolls increased by 233,000 during the month, also above projections.
Unemployment remained stable at 8.3 percent, ending the steady move lower. However the participation rate increased to 63.9 percent, a 20 basis point gain from January. Last February, the particpation rate was 0.3 percentage points higher than today's announcement indicated.
"[It was] pretty good, you added a significant amount of jobs," Austan Goolsbee, Former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to President Obama, said on Bloomberg TV . "The unemployment rate staying the same I think is interesting given the increase in the labor force."
Strong revisions to last month's headline figure pushed January total new nonfarm payrolls to 284,000 from 243,000. December was revised to 223,000 from 203,000.
One of the best metrics released in the employment report was the U-6 rate, which declined to 14.9 percent, the lowest reading in more than three years. The U-6 rate measures the percent of people in the U.S. that are unemployed, as well as those who are marginally attached to the work force or only working part time for economic reasons.
THIS IS IT!
This is the big number we've been waiting for for 5 weeks. Analysts are expecting 210K net new non-farm payrolls for February.
The number comes out at 8:30 AM, and we'll have the number here.
That's down from 243K that was registered in January.
As you'll recall, our prediction is for 285K.
Via Bloomberg, here are some more official predictions:
- Change in non-farm payrolls: +210K
- Change in private payrolls: +225K
- Change in manufacturing payrolls 24K
- Unemployment rate 8.3%
- Average hourly wage gains 0.2%
At the moment, S&P futures are basically flat.
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