The February 2022 Jobs Report: What is the Current U.S. Employment Situation?

The U.S. job market continued its strong growth in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly overview of the US employment situation. The Department of Labor’s jobs report examines a range of U.S. jobs data to gauge the overall health of the U.S. economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.

The February jobs report shows a sustained surge in the labor market, once again surpassing economists’ expectations. The unemployment rate declined .2 percentage points to 3.8%, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000. Many experts forecasted a growth of around 425,000. However, wages remained mostly unchanged at an average of $31.58/hour, raising concerns about the rate of wage inflation. The number of unemployed persons remains stalled as well, at around 6.3 million.

 

 

Here are some other key statistics from the labor department jobs report:

  • In February, 13% of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 15.4% in January.
  • The number of people who were unable to work because of the pandemic declined by 1.8 million in February, to 4.2 million.
  • The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised again, up by 78,000 to a total of 588,000. January was also revised, up by 14,000.

 

February brought job gains for almost all sectors, an improvement over the large growth seen in only a few sectors from the previous month. The industries with the highest increases were leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and healthcare and social assistance. Here’s how industries were impacted in February:

 

 

Overall, the last few months have been a welcome surprise for the labor market, but there is still a way to go before we hit pre-pandemic levels.

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by: Doug Atkinson
March 04, 2022