The February jobs report showed acceleration in employment gains.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed employment increased by 242,000 jobs, a decrease from January’s revised increase of 172,000.
The unemployment rate held at 4.9% in February, maintaining the eight-year low it first hit in the month prior. Over the year, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.6%.
In February, healthcare employment added 57,000 jobs and construction increased by 19,000 jobs. Also, over the past year, average hourly wages have risen by 2.2%.
Healthcare employment added 38,000 jobs in February, with job gains of 11,000 in hospitals. Hospitals have added 181,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Kristin Carpenter, Director of Operations in San Diego, commented on the increase in the healthcare industry, "In our San Diego branch, we noticed an increase in positions from our hospital clients, including, but not limited to, Medical Assistants, Phlebotomists, and RNs.
In order to manage the high demand in contract workers, we encourage companies to be open minded to accepting candidates that are recent graduates and have externship experience.
By being open to working with these candidates, companies will be able to obtain hard working candidates that are eager to learn and grateful for an opportunity."
Construction employment continued to trend up in February, adding 19,000 jobs in February, with a gain of 14,000 in residential specialty trade contractors. Employment in construction was up by 253,000 jobs, over the past 12 months, with residential specialty trade contractors accounting for about half of the increase.
Following the warmest temperatures in years, weather-sensitive sectors like construction continue to see a boost in hiring with an average of 279,000 jobs per month, in the fourth quarter the prior year.
What Companies Need To Do
Job growth has been strong recently, with an average of 228,000 jobs added per month over the last 3 months. As the unemployment rate continues to hold at the eight-year low of 4.9%, more companies should begin to raise pay to fuel more hiring, attract top talent, and stay competitive in today’s labor market.
Unemployment At A Glance
At the end of February, unemployment was down by 831,000 year-over-year.
The number of discouraged workers, who are not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them is down by 133,000 from the year prior.
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