Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.7%, Latest Jobs Report Shows

The latest jobs report is in, and employment numbers are looking good. Total nonfarm employment increased by 236,000 in February, pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.7%, according to a Labor Department report released today. Market analysts had estimated a slight 0.1 percentage point dip from January's slow but steady 7.9% rate.

Source: Labor Department

Major gains for this month came from the professional and business services sector, which added 73,000 jobs in February. Construction employment also increased by 48,000 and has risen 151,000 since September (a potential indicator of a housing market recovery). Transportation & warehousing and government were the only industries in the red for February, dropping 1,300 and 10,000 jobs, respectively.

Average hourly earnings met market expectations by improving 0.2% over January, while the average workweek stretched to 34.5 hours. Both these indicators help show that rising employment numbers are not offset by less pay and/or less time working.

In a statement released today, Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris wrote: "The economy is poised for even more significant growth, but Congress should not hold it back. We can't cut our way to prosperity. Deficit reduction alone is not an economic strategy or a jobs plan. It's time for members of both parties in Congress to work together on a balanced deficit reduction plan and invest in the middle class -- the engine of America's economic growth."

This March jobs report comes one day after the Labor Department reported an initial jobless claims drop for the fifth consecutive week.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 2302369, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/26/2014 7:09:53 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement