USA Unemployment Rate was 6.3% in February 2021

March 05, 2021

Total nonfarm payroll employment was little changed by 379,000 in February, as the unemployment rate was relatively unchanged at 6.3%, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). This was due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the labor market. BLS mentioned that in February, “most of the job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, with smaller gains in temporary help services, health care and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing. Employment declined in state and local government education, construction, and mining.”

Leisure and hospitality employment rose by 355,000 in February 2021. While temporary help services in professional business services added 53,000 jobs. Health care and social assistance added 46,000, retail trade (+41,000), manufacturing (+21,000). Whereas employment in local government education fell by 37,000 jobs, and state government education declined by 32,000 jobs. Employment in construction decreased by 61,000 jobs and mining fell by 8,000 jobs. Meanwhile employment in wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and other services were little changed in February.

Notably, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased in February to 517,000. In February, the number of permanent job losers was little changed at 3.5 million. While the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) stood at 4.1 million. Moreover, the number of unemployed persons who were jobless less than 5 weeks in February slightly changed to 2.2 million.

The labour force participation rate for February stood at 61.4%, while the employment population ratio stood at 57.6%. Nonetheless, persons employed part-time for economic reasons amounted to 6.1 million in February. Based on BLS assessment, “these individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.”

In February, a total of 1.9 million individuals were slightly attached to the labour force. These persons were not in the labour force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job in the last year. Of the marginally attached, 453,000 persons were classified as discouraged workers in February, was 522,000, slightly changed over the month. These persons are not currently seeking work as they believe no jobs are available for them.


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