February employment

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Mostly continued good news in this morning's employment data from the BLS. Employment rose by 227,000 with jobs being created in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining. This was slightly better than the 213,000 forecast by the DowJones Newswire's survey of economists. The unemployment rate remained at 8.3%

As Erza Klein in the Washington Post and Annie Lowrey in the New York Times have noted, a key indicator of the recovery is growth in the civilian labor force, which would indicated that people are looking for jobs. The civilian labor force increased in Feb.

One possible spot of concern is the slight increase in slack work (individuals working part time because of slack work or unfavorable business conditions). This may be a reflection of slowing demand. However, the number of workers who could only find part time work declined. Thus, the total number of involuntary underemployed declined very slightly. It is still nowhere near the levels of before the Great Recession.


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