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The Employment Situation – February 2020

The Employment Situation February 2020

February saw a very slight change in the number of unemployed people as compared to the previous month. It currently stands at 5.8 million. Total nonfarm payroll in February rose by 273,000. This is a notable increase as compared to January. The unemployment rate stands at 3.5%, having dropped by 0.1% from January. 

Major Ups and Downs in February

Job gains took place in the sectors of health care, social assistance, food & beverages, government sector, financial sector, and in the professional and technical and financial services verticals. 

The health care sector added 32,000 jobs. Notable job gains took place for physicians, home health care services, and hospitals.

The social assistance sector saw significant gains of 25,000 jobs, with the bulk of gains coming from individual and family services. 

53,000 jobs were added to the food and drinking places sector. 45,000 jobs were added to the government sector last month. 

The construction sector, professional and technical services sector, and the financial industry saw significant job growth in February.

Establishment Survey Data

February saw the average hourly earnings for employees on private nonfarm payroll increase by 9% to $28.52. This is a slight increase as compared to the last month. The average workweek for all employees stood at 34.4 hours, which is an increase of 0.1 % compared to last month. 

Participation in the labor force remained at 63.4%, and the number of people employed part-time due to economic reasons stood at 4.3 million. February saw 1.4 million people who were marginally attached to the workforce. 405,000 discouraged workers were present in February. 

Household Survey Data

Workers Group Unemployment Rate
Adult Men3.3 percent
Adult Women3.1 percent
Teenagers11.0 percent 
White Population3.1 percent
Black population5.8 percent 
Asian population 2.5 percent
Hispanics4.4 percent

The unemployment rate for adult men remains the same as last month. Women’s unemployment rate saw a 0.1% decrease in February. The teenage unemployment rate dropped significantly in February. 

Unemployment for the white population remains the same as last month. On the other hand, the black population’s unemployment dropped by 0.2%. There was a significant drop in the unemployment rate for the Asian population, while the Hispanic population saw a slight increase.

Final Analysis

Despite the Coronavirus outbreak, the American job market has not yet reflected a hit. February has been a good month for job seekers with the addition of 273,000 jobs. Job seekers should look at this report and feel quite hopeful as the job market is open to hiring right now. Let’s hope that it remains steady in the near future. 


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