Employment Situation Across USA – February 2016 (Household & Establishment)

Updated : February 16th, 2017

In continuation with our monthly publication on the unemployment situation in the country, let us uncover the news release from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor, titled “The Unemployment Situation – February 2016” which provides a multi angle view on the employment/unemployment conditions.

During February 2016, the economy added a little over 242,000 jobs while the unemployment rate at 4.9 % was the same as January. Most of the major industries made considerable progress during this month led by health care and social assistance, retail trade and others. Mining continued to see a slump as it suffered the highest number of job losses.

Unemployment Rate Among Major Workers Groups

Over the year, the jobless rate was down by 0.6 percentage points owing to reduction in the jobless persons by a whopping 831,000.

Unemployment Rate Among Ethnic Groups

  • Blacks – 8.8%
  • Asians – 3.8%
  • Whites – 4.3%
  • Hispanics – 5.4%

Employment among Hispanics is noticeable this month as there was a reduction in the rate by 0.5 percentage points. Other ethnic groups more or less held on to their rates registered in January.

General Highlights

  • A little over 2.2 million people remained to be categorized as long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks and above) and accounted for 27.7 percent of the jobless persons overall.
  • Among the unemployed persons, 6.0 million worked part time for economic reasons in February. Workers in this category did not work full time due to involuntary reasons such as reduction in the hours worked by the employer.
  • People falling in the category of marginally attached to the labor force were 1.8 million, down by about 356,000 from the same period last year.
  • In the category above, 599,000 were classified as discouraged workers during February 2016, down by 133,000 from the same month in 2015.

Employment Data in Various Industries (Top Highlights)

1) Health care and social assistance was the highest grosser in February with addition of 57,000 jobs.

  • Ambulatory health care services +24,000
  • Hospitals +11,000

2) Retail Trade continues to see solid growth with creation of 55,000 jobs in February. Over a period of last 12 months, it has made a significant contribution to the success story by adding 339,000 plus jobs.

  • Food & beverage stores +15,000
  • General merchandise stores +13,000

3) Mining saw the biggest slump with 19,000 plus job losses. Since the third quarter of 2014, this industry has recorded 171,000 job losses.

  • Support activities for mining -16,000
  • Coal mining -2,000

Other Highlights

  • In February 2016, the average workweek for all employees was down by 0.2 hours to 34.4 hours.
  • The average hourly earnings for all employees was $25.35, down by 3 cents. The average earnings has steadily risen by 2.2 percent over the year.
  • The average hourly earnings for employees in production and nonsupervisory roles remained stagnant at $21.32.


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  1. I’m attemptiing to file my first weekly claim since my layoff, however, my PIN# is not correct. what do I do to get my correct PIN# , please?

  2. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits in Texas but my calendar year does not end until September. Do I have to wait until the calendar year is over in Texas, to apply for unemployment benefits in New York in which I have available quarters?

    1. Mattie,

      As much as I am aware, UI benefits are only a one-time cycle. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  3. Help ran out of unemployment benefits for the pass 8 years i have worked at Hexion speciality chemical plant in Brady Texas how can i get my benefits extended

    1. Roderick,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    1. Annette,

      You can visit the official website of the Unemployment Office and ‘login’ to check the claim status. Alternatively, you can also call the Claims Center.

      PS: It should not take 6 weeks to process the initial claim. Please chase at regular intervals.

    1. Jocelyn,

      Unemployment is offered to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you can apply.

  4. I have been working for the same company for the past 11 years. I started out cleaning apartments, then landscaping and finally Asst. Manager for the past seven years. However, the owner/ manager had us all sign papers claiming we were “Independent Contractors.” I worked Monday thru Friday from 8am – 5pm the entire 11 years. Obviously, in reality, we had Never been “Independent Contractors.”
    Finally, October 2018 we became employee’s. On May 10, 2019 he sold the business which puts us all out of work. I tried filing for unemployment, but, I don’t have enough quarters in. Assuming I’m still out of work, can I wait for the next quarter to end, thus giving me the 2 quarters I need or will it not make a difference.

    1. Lea,

      Why don’t you look at alternate based period? Please use the link below to access the Base Period calculator.

  5. I have been working as an hourly employee for the last 4 months. Currently the board of the nonprofit agency came to me and told me that I had to file a 1099 or go to part time or find a new job. I have a scheduled time that I report to work. What are the laws here in Florida about who can receive a 1099

  6. I am unemployed and currently going to a community college. How can I apply for federal assistance?

    1. Carol,

      If you’re able and available for full-time employment, you can directly go to the website of the Unemployment Office and apply.

  7. I have worked in AZ since March 2016. However, I moved lived and worked for my employer in CA since 08/02/1982. Can I apply for Cali unemployment benefits?

    1. Robert,

      You should be applying from the state where your employment was based. Employers generally remit unemployment taxes to the state where the employee is based.

      1. How long does it take Washington state unemployment to deposit your back pay after they receive the determination letter from OAH stating I won my appeal?

  8. I have been trying for over a month to file and I still do not seem to be able to do it, but I finally got to the correct place, I think.

  9. Cumberland NJ Unemployment Center kept me on hold for 2 hours; I finally had someone answer my call, after providing my information and question regarding the status of my NJ Unemployment Claim the representative disconnected my call.

  10. Excellent list of things to help execute better. Even taking 3 or 4 of these that one does not currently utilize could help immensely.

    1. How did you calculate the total weekly Illinois benefit of $1495? Also, why isn’t Washington and Minnesota listed in your top 5 states with the highest paid unemployment insurance compensation?

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