Key Points:

  • Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 678,000 in February as the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%.
  • Consensus among economists was a gain of 150,000 jobs.
  • Nonfarm employment is down by 2.1 Million, or 1.4%, from pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.
  • Employment in leisure and hospitality added 179,000 jobs, professional and business services increased by 95,000, healthcare rose by 64,000, and transportation and warehousing increased by 48,000 in February.
  • Construction employment increased by 60,000 jobs in February.
  • In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was little changed at $31.58.
  • The average workweek for all private employees rose by 0.1 hours to 34.7 hours in February.
  • The labor force participation rate was little changed at 62.3% in February.