This monthly report from the BLS is a mover and shaker in the markets that measures labor force status, hours worked , earnings, and unemployment of private nonfarm businesses using two major surveys. This highly watched indicator is released just after month-end, typically the first Friday of the following month. When the 12th of the previous month falls on a Sunday, the report is released on the second Friday of the following month.
This morning’s release for February employment surprised forecasts once again with 311K new jobs, and January’s shockingly strong figure was revised down slightly to 504k . However, counter to the upside surprise in new job figures, the unemployment rate edged up to 3.6%, worse than the expected forecast of 3.4%.
Buried within this report is a wealth of data on sectors, demographics, and much more. Some of February’s breakdown of new jobs is as follows: 105K (jobs) came from leisure and hospitality (food services, hotels, etc.), 50K from retail, 46K from government employment, 45K from professional and business services, and 44K in healthcare jobs. Decreases were seen in information and transportation and warehousing.