February 2019 Jobs Report Shows U.S. Economy Added Only 20,000 Jobs Last Month

February 2019 Jobs Report Shows U.S. Economy Added Only 20,000 Jobs Last Month

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States economy added only 20,000 jobs in February 2019 – after adding 304,000 jobs in January 2019 – while the unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent during the month, according to the jobs report for February 2019 released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

February 2019 Jobs Report

The jobs report for February 2019 showed the number of unemployed persons decreased to 6.2 million, while job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, wholesale trade, and manufacturing. Here are the specific job gains during the month.

  • Professional and business services employment gained 42,000 jobs in February 2019, in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.
  • Health care employment rose by 21,000 jobs in February 2019 and has added 361,000 jobs over the year.
  • Wholesale trade employment increased by 11,000 jobs in February 2019 and has added 95,000 jobs over the year.
  • Manufacturing employment added 4,000 jobs in February 2019 after increasing by an average of 22,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

On the negative side, construction employment declined by 31,000 in February 2019. Employment in other industries including leisure and hospitality, mining, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government showed little change in the month.

The change in employment for December 2018 was revised from 222,000 jobs added to 227,000 jobs added while January 2019 was revised from 304,000 jobs added to 311,000 jobs added. With these revisions, gains in December and January combined were 12,000 more than previously reported.

The jobs report is usually released on the first Friday of every month. The jobs report for March 2019 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 5, 2019. Until then, the most recent jobs report will be available at www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm (PDF).

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