Article source: ConstructConnect
February’s Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics delivered the kind of U.S. total employment change, month to month, that we have become unaccustomed to seeing. Net jobs growth was quite weak, at only +20,000. It’s been 17 months since the figure was comparably low, +18,000 in September 2017.
Over the last several years, the month-to-month jobs gain has usually been at least +175,000, often exceeding +200,000. In the first month of this year, January, it was +311,000.
On the brighter side, the unemployment rate in the latest month improved to 3.8% from 4.0% in the prior period.
There was only one major industrial sector with a substantial pick-up in nominal number of jobs in January, ‘professional and business services,’ +42,000. The staffing increases were evenly and widely spread among segments of the sector (e.g., accounting, design, computer, and help-wanted services).
‘Education and health services’ added just 4,000 jobs, but that was because education services declined by -19,000 jobs. ‘Health care and social assistance’ wasn’t shy about hiring, lifting its combined payroll by +23,000.