Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000 jobs overall in February 2011, with the private sector accounting for all gains in the month with an addition of 222,000 jobs – the largest gain since April 2010 – the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

According to ‘THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — FEBRUARY 2011’ report, the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 8.9 percent – its lowest level since April 2009 – while the number of unemployed persons dipped to 13.7 million from 13.9 million.

The positive jobs report was led by job gains in manufacturing, construction, and several service-providing industries. Since a low in February 2010, total payroll employment has grown by 1.3 million, or an average of 106,000 per month. As for specific industries:

  • Manufacturing employment rose by 33,000 jobs in February, with almost all of the gain occurring in durable goods industries. 
  • Construction employment grew by 33,000 jobs in February, with specialty trade contractors accounting for the bulk of the February job gain.
  • Service-providing employment continued to expand in February, led by a gain of 47,000 jobs in professional and business services and 29,000 jobs in Employment services.
  • Health care employment increased by 34,000 jobs in February, and has added 260,000 jobs, an average of 22,000 per month, over the past 12 months.
  • Transportation and warehousing employment increased by 22,000 jobs in February, with half of that gain occurring in truck transportation.

On the negative side, employment in both state and local government edged down over the month, and local government has lost 377,000 jobs since its peak in September 2008.

The Employment Situation for March is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 1, 2011.

With more hiring comes the need for more employment screening. For more information on background checks for employment purposes, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco, CA area with a mission to help both employers and employees maintain safe workplaces, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). For more information about ESR, please visit or email Thomas Ahearn at [email protected].