IT Workplace Economy

Economists’ predictions surpassed with 227,000 new jobs generated

Prior to the release of the BLS’s “The Employment Situation – February 2012” report, President Barack Obama established a positive tone as he spoke about the national economy during the first week of March.

“Over the last two years, we’ve created over 3.5 million jobs, just in the private sector,” said Obama. “Manufacturing is stronger than it’s been since the 1990s. We’ve now had 10 consecutive quarters of growth.”

Yet, once the BLS’s latest jobs report was published on March 10th, President Obama had even more reasons to feel optimistic about the national economy’s current path towards eventual full-fledged recovery.

According to the report, 227,000 new jobs were generated in February, surpassing many economists’ predictions that roughly 210,000 jobs would be created. Additionally, the BLS revised its previous two jobs reports, as it found that 20,000 and 41,000 more jobs had been created in December and January than had originally been acknowledged. In all, 245,000 new jobs, on average, have been added to the economy on a monthly basis since December.

Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent in February. With a decline of 0.6 percent since last October, such a rapid decrease has rarely been recorded since the beginning of the post-World War II era. Additionally, only 6,000 jobs were lost in the public sector, a significant decline when one considers that nearly 20,000 public jobs were lost last December alone.

For the second straight month, United States private sector job growth was prevalent in a wide range of industries, especially professional and business services, manufacturing, and healthcare. Overall, 233,000 Americans were hired within the private sector throughout February, as the sector’s monthly job growth has now surpassed 200,000 for three successive months.

The following sector insights were also provided in this month’s edition of the BLS’s “The Employment Situation” report

  • Finance: In February, the industry hired approximately 6,000 workers overall. Of these employees, 2,900 were employed within depository credit intermediation capacities, while 2,800 were hired to fulfill commercial banking responsibilities.
  • Healthcare: In all, 49,000 healthcare positions were added to the national economy last month. A majority of the hiring occurred within hospitals, nursing care facilities, and physicians’ offices.
  • Leisure and hospitality: For the second consecutive month, 44,000 Americans were hired for full-time or part-time employment within the industry. 41,000 were employed in drinking or food services places; food services places have created 531,000 new jobs throughout the last two years.
  • Manufacturing: Although manufacturing hiring was not as noticeable in February as it was in January, the industry still hired 31,000 new employees last month, including 11,400 fabricated metal products workers.
  • Professional and business services: Hiring remained quite high within the industry, as 82,000 professionals received new job opportunities. More than half of the hiring occurred within temporary help services, which employed 45,000 workers, a sign that companies are preparing to steadily hire full-time employees again after extensive hiring freezes.

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This leaves a net hiring gain of 3%, which John Reed, executive director of the recruiting firm's tech division, said is in the normal hiring range, though a decrease from the first quarter's net gain in hiring of 10%. Reed attributed the strong first quarter figure to new budgets and projects.

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