The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its unemployment report for February 2013, a strong report with an impressive 236,000 jobs added overall, and the private sector injecting a healthy 246,000 jobs. The unemployment rate also edged down to 7.7% in February. This month’s report showed much stronger gains compared to January, when employers hired a revised 119,000 workers, pointing to optimism in the market and a good outlook for more growth to come.
One of the sectors coming through with the greatest jobs additions was professional and business services (+73,000), with technical, accounting and administrative positions carrying the bulk of the gains. The healthcare industry saw an addition of 32,000 jobs as did the retail sector (+23,700), manufacturing (+14,000) and construction (+48,000), an indicator for a boost in the housing market. Temporary help services also added 16,000 jobs.
These gains are well above what many economists forecasted, especially with several factors that weighed in on the predictions including the severe weather that flogged the Northeast in February as well as the ongoing budget battle. Overall, U.S. employers increased their hiring last month, leading to one of the largest job gains in the past 12 months and the lowest unemployment level since December 2008.
The strength of private sector job growth is a particularly positive indicator for the economy, as private companies provide the vast majority of new jobs. This month’s report mirrors what we are seeing at Adecco; our clients are ramping up their hiring as they see stronger sales growth and greater profit margins. This morning’s numbers can certainly be seen as a sign of real recovery and a strong momentum in the market overall.
To read last month’s report, click here