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

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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