US nonfarm payrolls increased by 295,000 last month after a downwardly revised 239,000 rise in January. Meanwhile, the jobless rate edged down to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent.
Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in mining was down over the month.
After revision, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December remained at +329,000, and the change for January was revised from +257,000 to +239,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January were 18,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 288,000 per month.
In February, food services and drinking places added 59,000 jobs. The industry had added an average of 35,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.
Employment in professional and business services increased by 51,000 in February and has risen by 660,000 over the year. In February, employment continued to trend up in management and technical consulting services (+7,000), computer systems design and related services (+5,000), and architectural and engineering services (+5,000).
Construction added 29,000 jobs in February. Employment in specialty trade contractors rose by 27,000, mostly in the residential component. Over the past 12 months, construction has added 321,000 jobs.
In February, employment in health care rose by 24,000, with gains in ambulatory care services (+20,000) and hospitals (+9,000). Health care had added an average of 29,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.
Transportation and warehousing added 19,000 jobs in February, with most of the gain occurring in couriers and messengers (+12,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing grew by an average of 14,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
Employment in retail trade continued to trend up in February (+32,000) and has grown by 319,000 over the year.
Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in February (+8,000). Within the industry, petroleum and coal products lost 6,000 jobs, largely due to a strike.
Employment in mining decreased by 9,000 in February, with most of the decline in support activities for mining (-7,000).
Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.
3/6/2015 1:41:26 PM