March BLS jobs report: Industry review

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Source: March BLS jobs report

The United States’ private sector generated over 192,000 jobs in March. Although the sector’s total job creation was not nearly high enough to lower the national unemployment rate, a majority of economists were encouraged by the figures.

This growth revealed a milestone of job creation, as private sector jobs added in March exceeded the employment figures of December 2007, its pre-recession peak levels. This milestone can be considered meaningful, and a step in the right direction.

But while the private sector has recouped 8.9 million jobs since February 2010, U.S. government jobs have not recovered since the recession began. Unfortunately, this has stumped overall growth and has resulted in a total nonfarm employment figure of 422,000 jobs below its December 2007 pre-recession level.

Overall growth aside, here are some key sector highlights from the BLS “The Employment Situation – March 2014” report:
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March BLS jobs report shows economy added 192,000 jobs

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Source: BLS

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its March 2014 unemployment report, which shows an overall gain of 192,000 jobs and the unemployment rate holding at 6.7%. This data shows that employers are ramping up their hiring and that the winter slowdown was only temporary. In addition, revisions to prior months showed that January added 144,000 jobs (up from 129,000), and February grew 197,000 jobs (from 175,000). With these revisions, gains in employment for those two months were actually 37,000 higher than previously reported, and job growth has averaged 183,000 new jobs per month over the last 12 months.
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Latest BLS regional and state unemployment figures released

Jobs report: in your regionSource: BLS

In February, the U.S. unexpectedly added 175,000 jobs to the economy — which was the first time since November that more than 129,000 jobs were added. The majority of U.S. states followed suit to the national surge. In total, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 33 states and decreased in 17 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Looking closer at February unemployment rates, 29 states saw decreases from January, 10 had increases, while 11 states plus the District of Columbia stayed the same. Impressively, 49 states plus the District of Columbia realized unemployment rate decreases from the previous year—further proof that the U.S. economy is strengthening at a steady, yet prolonged pace.

Regionally, the West had the highest unemployment rate in February—reporting at 7.2 percent—0.5 percent higher than the national rate. The South showed the lowest unemployment rate of 6.1 percent. Over the course of the year all four regions had remarkable unemployment rate declines—with the South and Northeast dropping 1.2 percent each, the West decreasing 1.1 percent, and the Midwest shedding 0.8 percentage points.

Here are some key divisional highlights from the “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary — February 2014”:
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A closer look at the February BLS jobs report

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Source: BLS jobs report

For the first time since last November, the nation’s private sector gained over 150,000 jobs in February. Although the sector’s total job creation – 162,000 – was not large enough to lower the national unemployment rate, a majority of economists were pleasantly surprised by the figures.

In addition, public sector employment ticked up for the first time in three months, rising by 13,000, as state and local government employment increased significantly. Not only did the public sector’s employment statistics surpass economists’ expectations, but a majority of the private sector’s industries reported hiring gains, as evidenced below.
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February BLS report surprises, adds 175,000 jobs to economy

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Source: BLS

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the February 2014 unemployment report which shows an overall gain of 175,000 jobs and the unemployment rate inching backup to 6.7%. This data surprised most experts, who forecasted around 150,000 jobs being added.  In addition, revisions to prior months showed that December 2013 added 84,000 jobs — up from 75,000 — and January grew 129,000 jobs — up from 113,000.
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BLS regional and state annual averages report for 2013 released

Jobs report: in your region

Source: BLS 

In 2013, as evidenced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Regional and State Unemployment — 2013 Annual Averages” report, the unemployment rate decreased in 43 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia. It rose in only 2 states, and remained unchanged in 5 states. On average, the national rate fell 0.7 percent from the previous year, with December 2013 seeing the largest year-to-year rate drop of 1.2 percent. By the end of 2013, the national unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent — the lowest since October 2008 — and in January 2014, the rate inched down to 6.6 percent.

All four U.S. regions saw remarkable decreases in their unemployment rates, with the West having the largest drop of 1.2 percentage points. While the West had the largest decrease, it still was well above the national rate, at 8.0 percent. Conversely, the South region had the only unemployment rate significantly below the national average, at 7.0 percent.

Zooming into the 9 geographic divisions, 6 of them had notable year-to-year unemployment rate decreases. The largest decrease occurred in the Pacific — which dropped 1.4 percent, and the South Atlantic — which fell 1.0 percent. Just like its parent region the Pacific had the largest percentage drop, but unfortunately retained the highest national unemployment rate of 8.4 percent — an unwanted title it has owned for the sixth year in a row.
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