Payrolls Surge By 236,000 In February, Following Big Downward Revision, Unemployment Rate Slides To 7.7%

February payrolls rose by a whopping 236,000, much better than the 165,000 expected, and 1K higher than the highest Wall Street forecast of 235K. However this takes place as the January number was revised from 157K to 119K. The unemployment rate slides to 7.7%, on expectations of a 7.9%. This was the lowest unemployment rate since December of 2008. The civilian labor force dropped as usual from 63.6% to 63.5%. The household survey saw an increase of 170K jobs in February, following a 17K increase in January.

More details:

  • Change in Private Payrolls: +246K, on Exp. 170K, last revised from 166K to 140k
  • Change in Manufacturing Payrolls: +14K on Exp. 9K, last revised from 4K to 12K
  • Average hourly earnings M/M rose by 0.2%, and 2.1% Y/Y, in line with expectations
  • Average hourly hours for all employees rose from 34.4 to 34.5
  • Birth death adds 102K to the unadjusted number

Getting ever closer to that economic state where, like three times perviously, the Fed thought the economy was ready to stan on its own too wheels. How close: not very at all.


More from the report:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, with job gains in professional and business services, construction, and health care. In the prior 3 months, employment had risen by an average of 195,000
per month. (See table B-1.)

Professional and business services added 73,000 jobs in February; employment in the industry had changed little (+16,000) in January. In February, employment in administrative and support services, which includes employment services and services to buildings, rose by 44,000. Accounting and bookkeeping services added 11,000 jobs, and growth continued in computer systems design and in management and technical consulting services.

In February, employment in construction increased by 48,000. Since September, construction employment has risen by 151,000. In February, job growth occurred in specialty trade contractors, with this gain about equally split between residential (+17,000) and nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+15,000). Nonresidential building construction also added jobs (+6,000).

The health care industry continued to add jobs in February (+32,000). Within health care, there was a job gain of 14,000 in ambulatory health care services, which includes doctors' offices and outpatient care centers. Employment also increased over the month in nursing and residential care facilities (+9,000) and hospitals (+9,000).

Employment in the information industry increased over the month (+20,000), lifted by a large job gain in the motion picture and sound recording industry.

Employment continued to trend up in retail trade in February (+24,000). Retail trade has added 252,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Employment also continued to trend up over the month in food services and drinking places and in wholesale trade. Employment in other major industries showed little change over the month.

In February, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing workweek rose by 0.2 hour to 40.9 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.2 hour to 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $23.82. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1 percent. In February, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $20.04. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from +196,000 to +219,000, and the change for January was revised from +157,000 to +119,000.