February 2024 Employment Summary

  • On March 22, 2024

As we move into the spring season, the job market moves with us. Learn more about employment expectations for the new season based on data from our latest employment summary. Staff Solve strives to assist employers and job seekers not only with information and process hiring, but the overall economic picture of employment trends in the United States and possible factors involved.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 275,000 in February, and the unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in healthcare, government, food services and drinking places, social assistance, and transportation and warehousing.

The unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent and the number of unemployed people rose by 334,000 to 6.5 million. This number is a bit higher than the past year, when the jobless rate was 3.6 percent with the number of unemployed people at 6 million.

Among the unemployed, the number of people who lost their jobs permanently increased by 174,000 to 1.7 million in February. The number of people on temporary layoff was little changed at 827,000.

In February, the labor force participation rate was 62.5 percent for the third consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, changed little this month. These changed little throughout the year. The number of persons employed part-time for economic reasons, at 4.4 million, changed little in February. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

The number of persons in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.7 million in February, demonstrating little change. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4  weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force changed little at 1.6 million in February. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, at 425,000, was little changed in February.

In February, employment continued to trend up in construction (+23,000), in line with the average monthly gain of 18,000 over the prior 12 months. Over the month, heavy and civil engineering construction added 13,000 jobs.

Employment showed little change over the month in other major industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; wholesale trade; information; financial activities; professional and business services; and other services.

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $34.57 following an increase of 18 cents in January. Average hourly earnings were up by 0.1 percent in February and 4.3 percent over the year. In February, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $29.71. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.3 hours, following a decline of 0.2 hour in January. The average work week for production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 0.3 hour to 33.8 hours, following a decline of 0.3 hour in January.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised down by 43,000, from +333,000 to +290,000, and the change for January was revised down by 124,000, from +353,000 to +229,000. With these revisions, employment in December and January combined is 167,000 lower than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.

Staff Solve continues to provide high-quality candidates and jobs in diverse markets for over 30 years. Let us take the stress off you so you can focus on your business by finding the perfect applicant for the position. If you are looking for employment, please visit our job seeker page and check out our job board for current positions. If you would like more information about the services we offer employers, visit our employer page or contact us today.

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