Employers Added 192,000 in February, Jobless Rate Slips to 8.9%

Unemployment rateEmployers hired in February at the fastest pace in almost a year and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent - a nearly two-year low.

The economy added 192,000 jobs last month, with factories, professional and business services, education and health care among those expanding employment. Retailers, however, trimmed jobs. State and local governments, wrestling with budget shortfalls, slashed 30,000 jobs, the most since November. Federal government hiring was flat.

Private employers added 222,000 jobs last month, the most since April. That shows that companies are feeling more confident in the economy and about their own financial prospects. And it bolstered hopes that businesses will shift into a more aggressively hiring mode and boost the economic recovery.

The unemployment rate is now at the lowest point since April 2009. It has been falling for three months, down from 9.8 percent in November, marking the sharpest three-month decline since 1983.

"These number can be sustained and built on," economist Joel Naroff at Naroff Economic Advisors. "The economy is recovering, there is no question about it. Businesses are finally taking some of those profits they are earning and putting them back into the work force."

The number of unemployed people dipped to 13.7 million, still almost double since before the recession.

When factoring in the number of part-time workers who would rather be working full time and those who have given up looking for work, the percentage of "underemployed" people dropped to 15.9 percent in February. That's the lowest in nearly two years.

The positive news on the hiring front comes as the larger economy is gaining momentum.

Americans shoppers are spending more. U.S. exporters are selling more abroad. Manufacturing is growing at the fastest pace in nearly seven years. And the service sector, which employs about 90 percent of the work force, is expanding at the fastest clip in more than five years.

The 192,000 jobs added in February was a significant improvement from the 63,000 notched in January. Some of the boost came as people resumed work, after dropping off payrolls because of bad weather in January. Still, the gains were widespread.

Factories added 33,000 jobs. Education and health care added 40,000 positions. Professional and businesses services added 47,000. Leisure and hospitality added 21,000 jobs. Construction companies, 33,000 jobs - although a good chunk of those reflected people coming back on payrolls after January's harsh winter weather; Transportation and warehousing added 22,000 jobs.

The number of "long-term" unemployed, people out of work six months or more, sank to 5.99 million, a decline of 217,000 from January.

Workers' paychecks were mostly flat. Average hourly earning rose to $22.87 in February, up only one cent from January. Workers have little bargaining power to demand big pay raises because the weak jobs market.

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punnster

How many of those new employed are added staff for Obsma Czars?

March 07 2011 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

Stocks Rally on Robust Jobs and Retail Reports An unexpected drop in new claims for jobless benefits and higher February retail sales propelled stocks higher. Also bolstering the bulls was the ISM's report that hiring among service companies rose to the highest level since April 2006. THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA. OBAMA 2012 , the man who saved this nation

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/giQ10U

March 07 2011 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
martinsportraits

The unemployment numbers are absolute nonsense , Try taking into account how much of this is part time temp work ,Is there no end to the half truths and cooked books , This economy is in the gutter and anyone with a single digit IQ or higher knows it! The agenda behind all this feel good rhetoric is obvious as well!

March 06 2011 at 10:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
johnskii

WOW!!!!

March 06 2011 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Foltynski Family

Your dollars are losing value. That is why gold, now silver continues to rise at new highs almost daily. Silver has almost tripled in the last 12-18 months. That is 300%

March 06 2011 at 11:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bill griffis

u know the cogress is realy beieving thees numbers. evey talk show i sen there one of them how postive these numbers look? walk in the real world congress people!!!

March 06 2011 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bill griffis's comment
Trevor

Jethro Bodine, is that you?

March 06 2011 at 11:20 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
bggdg

Fact: FPFP040408 is our most cartoonish syncophant and narcissist who has endlessly provided readers of AOL comment boards unparalleled comic releif. Plus get use to it, FPFP040408 will bleat inanities in 2012 and beyond, there is no one close who can bleat like him

March 06 2011 at 10:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bggdg's comment
Trevor

LOL

March 06 2011 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

bggdg : "syncophant" try SYCOPHANT.

March 07 2011 at 11:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
fpfp040408

Fact: President OBAMA is our greatest presidents and leader who has saved this nation from a depression and ended the war in Iraq. Plus, my portfolio is up 300% thanks to the market rising over 4,00 points since Obama took office. Plus get use to it , OBAMA will win in 2012 , there is no one close who can beat him.

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/giQ10U

March 06 2011 at 10:26 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
wfreeberg

For all you out there looking for jobs; check out the AOL article about the top 10 hiring companies; trucking/technology/autosales/retail/etc. Or would you rather collect welfare checks and wait for the old factory to open again.

March 06 2011 at 6:11 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to wfreeberg's comment
jkennedy806

I got a reply for you freeberg -- On Friday, a tempy agency called me, hadn't found me a job in a year +++ . Wanted to know if I would take a part-time clerical position for minimum wage for 2 weeks $7.50 for 20 hours for 10 days. Now I make close to 600/month on unemployment versus working for two weeks and loosing my unemployment for maybe $220.00 collectively for two weeks of work. Does this make sense to you??? $300.00 GROSS versus $512 net Unemployment. Do the math. I would gladly go back to work, however, I ain't going to cut off my nose to smite my face. You want me back in the labor force, I want a GOOD DECENT LIVING WAGE, 40 hours a week. Other than that -
I am tired of being used by big business -- tell me get a job? Why don't you give me a decent JOB!!!

March 06 2011 at 10:10 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bggdg

"Used by big business" how?

March 06 2011 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gagesxm

WHAT A JOKE...NOBODY KNOWS HOW HIGH THE REAL NUMBER IS

March 05 2011 at 2:14 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gagesxm's comment
bggdg

Of course nobody "knows" the EXACT number since this number represents a survey. To KNOW the real number, it would be required to survey every single American every single month. The cost of doing so would be astronomical, and it wouldn't be long before many Americans tired of such an intrusion. But this number uses scientific polling methods that have been consistent for years. It's the best number that is available, and is no worse than it has been in past months when the number was both higher and lower. As such, it provides a good representation of what is happening in the job market.

March 05 2011 at 6:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply