Friday, March 8, 2013

Employment Update: February 2013

The data on employment released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (link) should cheer the public. The economy created 236,000 jobs in February. To be sure,  December numbers were revised upward by 23,000, January numbers downward by 15,000, so the net gain in February was 244,000. The last time we’ve had an uptick of the same magnitude was last November. Good news.

The month-by-month chart shows January’s revised results (pale blue) and the February results in red. January and February 2012 results were higher, but employment generation then declined in subsequent months. How will it be this year? To be seen.

This second chart, which shows annual results from 2007 through 2012 and annualized results from 2013, thus far, indicates that, as of February, we are still underperforming 2012. 

So how much of the 8.6 million jobs lost in the Great Recession (2008-2009) have we recovered thus far? Here is the pie chart:

We’re still struggling to reach the two-thirds number. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at gainers/losers by sector.

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