February Unemployment Rate Improves to 8.9%, Economy Gains 192,000 Jobs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its February unemployment numbers today which shows some signs of improvement to the economy. The unemployment rate improved to 8.9% in February, from last month’s 9.0%. And the jobs outlook improved with the economy gaining 192,000 jobs in the month. If you look at the past several months, the unemployment rate has improved by a percentage point since a high of 9.8% in November. The improving numbers is good news to economists and job seekers alike who are hoping that hiring will continue to improve. If so, one of the biggest sectors of the workforce to continue to benefit from these gains would be middle-income job market.

Looking at the different sectors of the job market, gains occurred in manufacturing (33,000), construction (33,000) – an improvement from last month’s decline due to severe weather, professional and business services (47,000), health care (34,000), and transportation and warehousing (22,000). The unemployment rate for major worker groups showed slightly or no change in February: adult men (8.7 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (23.9 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (15.3 percent), and Hispanics (11.6 percent).

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