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After two months of reporting weak job growth, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that, seasonally adjusted, 162,000 new private jobs were created in February. Government at all levels hired 13,000. The official unemployment rate—which BLS calls U3 and calculates in a separate survey—rose to 6.7 percent.

The bureau revised its previously reported results for December from 75,000 to 84,000, and in January from 113,000 to 129,000. That brought the three-month average to 129,000. At that rate, it would take until September 2023 to return us to the pre-recession employment situation while absorbing the people who enter the labor force each month. At 175,000 a month, it would take until January 2020.

In the previous three years (2011-2013), seasonally adjusted job growth for the December-January period averaged a monthly 103,000, 261,000 and 230,000 respectively.

A consensus of experts surveyed ahead of time by Bloomberg News had put the expected growth in new jobs for February at 150,000. Growth in the overall economy picked up in the second half of 2013, but it has slipped in the past three months:

The recent stretch of mixed economic data, including weak retail sales and a drop in factory output, has been blamed in part on harsh winter weather. The weather may have distorted Friday's reading on jobs, too. Last month's household survey, one component of the jobs report, coincided with a mid-February storm that brought ice and snow to much of the eastern U.S.

It's far from clear if weather is the primary culprit or if the U.S. economy is slowing down in earnest. "A number of data releases have pointed to softer spending than analysts had expected," Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told lawmakers last week. "That may reflect in part adverse weather conditions, but at this point it is difficult to discern exactly how much."

The civilian labor force added 264,000. That rise came after a 499,000 rise in January and a 347,000 drop in December. The employment-population ratio held steady at 58.8 percent, as did the labor force participation rate at 63 percent.  

The number of long-term unemployed, those out of work for 27 weeks or more, rose to 3.8 million, 37 percent of all those unemployed.

The bureau provides several alternative calculations each month. Of those, U6 is the most focused upon. It includes not just Americans without a job, but also those with part-time jobs who want full-time positions (the underemployed) and workers who have looked for employment in the past 12 months but not in the past four weeks. U6 fell to 12.6 percent in February. U6 does not include workers who have given up looking for a job for more 12 months. They are left out of the unemployment count even if they still want jobs, skewing the actual unemployment rate, both U3 and U6.

The number of officially unemployed Americans is rose to 10.5 million. Plus the millions of discouraged workers who are left out of that count because they have left the workforce.

The Economic Policy Institute notes:

In today’s labor market, the unemployment rate drastically understates the weakness of job opportunities. This is due to the existence of a large pool of “missing workers”—potential workers who, because of weak job opportunities, are neither employed nor actively seeking a job. In other words, these are people who would be either working or looking for work if job opportunities were significantly stronger. Because jobless workers are only counted as unemployed if they are actively seeking work, these “missing workers” are not reflected in the unemployment rate.
Currently, EPI says, there are 5.8 million "missing workers." If they were looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 10 percent instead of 6.7 percent. About two-thirds of those missing workers are in their prime earning years, 25-54.
For more details about today's jobs report, please continue reading below the fold.

The payroll services company Automatic Data Processing had reported on Wednesday a seasonally adjusted gain of xxx,000 private-sector jobs for February. ADP does not report on public-sector jobs and its estimated growth figures, despite a change in methodology in 2012, frequently aren't a close match with the BLS private-job figures.

Among other news in the January job report:

Demographic breakdown of official (U3) seasonally adjusted jobless rate:

African American: 12.0 percent
Latino: 8.1 percent
Asian (not seasonally adjusted): 6.0 percent
American Indian (data not collected on monthly basis)
White: 5.8 percent
Adult women (20 and older): 5.9 percent
Adult Men (20 and older): 6.4 percent
Teenagers (16-19): 21.4 percent

Duration of unemployment:

Less than five weeks: 2.4 million
5 to 14 weeks: 2.6 million
15 to 26 weeks: 1.6 million
27 weeks and more: 3.8 million

Job gains and losses in selected categories:

Professional services: + 79,000
Transportation and warehousing : - 3,600
Leisure & hospitality: + 25,000
Health care: + 14,700
Retail trade: - 4,100
Information: -16,000
Construction: + 15,000
Manufacturing: + 6,000
Average weekly manufacturing hours remained at 40.7 hours.
Average work week for all employees on non-farm payrolls slipped to 34.2 hours.
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 9 cents to $24.31.
Average hourly earnings of private sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose 9 cents to $20.50.

Here's what the seasonally adjusted job growth numbers have looked like in February for the previous 10 years.

February 2004: +  44,000
February 2005: + 239,000
February 2006: + 315,000
February 2007: +   88,000
February 2008: -    86,000
February 2009: -  701,000
February 2010: -    50,000  
February 2011: + 168,000
February 2012: + 226,000
February 2013: + 280,000  
February 2014: + 175,000

The BLS jobs report is the product of a pair of surveys, one of more than 410,000 business establishments called Current Employment Statistics, and one called the Current Population Survey, which questions 60,000 householders each month. The establishment survey determines how many new jobs were added. It is always calculated on a seasonally adjusted basis determined by a frequently tweaked formula.  The BLS report only provides a snapshot of what's happening at a single point in time.
It's important to understand that the jobs-created-last-month-numbers that it reports are not "real." Not because of a conspiracy, but because statisticians apply formulas to the raw data, estimate the number of jobs created by the "birth" and "death" of businesses, and use other filters to fine-tune the numbers. And, always good to remember, in the fine print, they tell us that the actual number of newly created jobs reported is actually plus or minus 100,000.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:07 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Prediction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, shoeless, jck, TexasTom

    We'll get back to even on that Calculated Risk graph in July or August.  That will mean we've recovered every job lost in the great recession.  (Of course, our population will have grown in those six years, so it's not like we'll be back to even really.)

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:13:46 AM PST

    •  Don't forget (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger

      The boomers starting to ramp up retirement.

      Obama 2012

      by jiffypop on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:39:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pure propaganda for those on another planet. (3+ / 0-)

        Meanwhile, here's the reality...

        Everything You Need to Know About the "Work-'til-You're-Dead" Meme In One Chart

        (Note: Doug Short has provided diarist with written authorization to republish all of his charts and graphs on a "carte blanche" basis for the benefit of the Daily Kos community.)

        Labor Force Participation Rate Growth Since 2000 (
        Doug Short has much more to say in his must-read post, along with many other graphic representations of what he's saying, RIGHT HERE.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:57:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Numbers matter Bob (3+ / 0-)

          The participation rate of those 65+ is still only 18.8%.  So, while that 50% increase is big (in percentage terms), it still means that 8 out of 10 65+ aren't in the labor force and that the boomers are still dragging down the overall participation rate.

          •  This is a pure rightwing meme...there is... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, TheMomCat

            ...some truth to your comment, but it's an undisputed FACT that Boomer retirement spike account for roughly/only 30% of the problem. You'll have to make up some other spin--such as "TECHNOLOGY," your personal favorite, and another favorite piece of propaganda of the 1%--to account for anything that bears any semblance to what's actually happening on Main Street.

            So, please explain to the reading public how this figures into the RECORD BREAKING LONG-TERM unemployment statistics we've been witnessing in this country for so many years?

            Or, maybe you'd like to wax poetic about how unemployment is just a lagging indicator in a recovery? (We've heard you tell us that one before.)  I love that one! Please! Please, tell us another bedtime story....More Grimm's fairy tales...please! Please!

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:15:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

              •  Ahh, yes...Macroblog, the Federal Reserve's blog?! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Macroblog is the Atlanta Federal Reserve's blog, to be precise. That veritable bastion of progressivism that never, ever, ever, claims that their entire raison d'etre is about TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS.

                "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:51:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  So does the Philadelphia Fed (4+ / 0-)

              Causes of the decline in labor force:  

              A key finding: "Almost
              all of the decline (80 percent) in the participation rate since the first quarter of 2012 is accounted for by the increase in nonparticipation due to retirement."

              •  Yeah...and most of those people weren't FORCED... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ...into retiring, far too many in poverty.

                On the very first page of the document you cite...

                ...A simple argument is that jobless workers, in facing difficulties in finding a job, are becoming discouraged and leaving the labor force, thus pus hing down both the unemployment rate and the participation rate. To the extent that this argument is true, unemployment has been declining for the “wrong reason.”...
                Your "arguments" are freakin' SHAMELESS!!!

                But, that's okay, because they have their equity in their homes to cushion their many extra years in FORCED retirement...oh, wait!?!?!?!?

                But, bagging jobs at the local supermarket and working at the drive-in window at McD's are always options...if you're in good 75 or 80 years old! You apologists and proponents of the status quo's trickle-down mentality are really quite PATHETIC.

                And, don't get me started on the rigged markets...only HALF the population even has money in them...and most were relying on their now-evaporated home equity.

                Seriously, you think you'll "win friends and influence people" by parroting this crap on a Democratic Party blog? Then againl, there IS a whole segment of the Party that's now fully bought into (and owned by) the, I guess that IS an option, isn't it?

                Heckuva of job, guyz! Good stuff!  /s

                "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:45:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Reiterating, you're quoting the Atlanta Fed's... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

        , Macroblog. The place where trickle-down economics, and the twisted validations for same, are manufactured 365 days per year.

                  Classic fail.

                  And, as I note down below, even their own "narrative" (as you falsely claim it) is derailed in the very first page of the document which you cite!

                  "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                  by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:54:42 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Reading Comprehension of a 7 year old (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The context of the quote you jumped on was that the simple argument is WRONG and that the paper that follows shows where the workers are going and the likelihood of them returning.  

                  When it comes to actual data, you really have no idea what you are talking about.

                  As for policy solutions, I would bet that you, me, and NDD pretty much agree on most of them (ie higher minimum wage, more wall street regulation, universal healthcare, stronger social security/pensions, etc).  But agreeing on policy has nothing to do with understanding the economic data.

                  •  I'll "bet" that living in the top 10%... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    ...has slightly affected your view of the dismal science, as well as your inherent support of TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS. Continually quoting the Federal Reserve, an organization that's doing little more than feebly attempting to JUSTIFY their support of the trickle-down economic school and, subsequently, their total disregard for job creation, is NOT an "argument." It's little more than sucking up to the status quo.

                    Numbers are like words. They may be presented to support one's positions. Period. End of story.

                    And, frankly, even in these threads, rationalizing the massive increase in the still-working 65+ cohort is little more than propaganda for far greater realities, too.

                    Just for a moment, do you even begin to acknowledge that the destruction and hollowing out of the middle class--something which was wholeheartedly supported by the very compromised "sources" that you now quote--had ANYTHING to do with the destruction of the primary net worth of that segment of the population? HOUSING/MORTGAGES!!!


                    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

                    by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:10:52 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Split those numbers up a bit and it... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bobswern, jrooth, TheMomCat, PorridgeGun

            ...looks different:

            1990: 21%
            2010: 32%

            1990: 11%

            75 and up
            1990: 4%
            2010: 8%

            The trend since 2010 has been upward.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:25:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Tsunami!!!!.n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Obama 2012

          by jiffypop on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:47:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Red Line on that Graph... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      should be labeled "Bush/Cheney Administration Economic Crater"

    •  Wow. Wrong in so many ways, but here's the (0+ / 0-)

      big one:

      Even if the numbers sorta seemed that way, your characterization of them is terrible.  The truth is that we have a large army of long-term unemployed people who now fear that they will never get a job again.  We have employers that won't even interview you if you are currently unemployed, and more who won't even consider you if you have been unemployed for more than a few months.

      So even if we managed to get up to the same number of people working, it wouldn't be the same people working. We'll have added new jobs and filled them with new people. We'll not have recovered all those lost jobs, even counting every new job filled by a currently unemployed worker to count as a recovered job.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:38:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The chocolate ration is raised again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:15:06 AM PST

  •  I have been seeing an uptick in IT jobs (3+ / 0-)

    spooked by what happened to Target, companies are hiring more information security types

  •  Bill McBride of Calculated Risk - (7+ / 0-)
    "This was a decent employment report considering the recent harsh weather."
    There was a decrease in retail jobs and a (big) increase in professional services. Most impressively, the hourly earnings increasing by 9 cents an hour translates into an annualized increase in pay of 4.6%. More Americans are working, and our pay is going up.
  •  The EPI missing workers is garbage (3+ / 0-)

    as it ignores the trends that were in place already (ie participation peaked in 1999 and was declining for all groups but the 55+ group) already.  Once you take the trend out, the remaining "missing workers" is much smaller.

    Second, counting people who make no effort to even look for work is worthless, as we cannot assume that they are actually realistic about reentering the workforce.  I give you a quote from Christmas Vacation: Clark - "Eddie has been out of work for 3 years" Catherine - "He's holding out for a management position".

    Also, do not dismiss the idea that the "employable" labor market is much tighter than it initially appears.  The short-term unemployment rate is back at pre-recession levels and we are starting to see the first signs of real wage increases.

    •  We will continue to disagree about this... (4+ / 0-)

      ...Heidi Shierholz at EPI views the criticism of the "missing workers" calculation to be garbage.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:50:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  MB, there's no're simply... (0+ / 0-)

        ...reporting FACTS. The "other guy" speaks for the status quo (and parrots their propaganda). In fact, the most recent "pearls of wisdom" from that ilk (including the Archie Bunker comment in this thread to which you're responding) are sounding more and more like Paul Ryan with every passing day.

        Don't they have some offshore tax shelter or a review of "charts" for one of our many "fixed" securities markets to tout today rather than littering your outstanding informational posts with propaganda?

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:04:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You've been wrong for what 5 years now (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheLizardKing, Aquarius40, USA Driver

          The economy of today is in about the same growth mode it has been since 2000.  And while that may not be great, it isn't like we are sucking canal water either.  The reality is that potential growth is equal to labor force/population growth + productivity and thanks to the boomers retiring (and yes Bob, they are retiring in vast numbers) and the lack of population growth, the potential growth of the economy is lower than where it was in the 90s.  But note, we are still growing and have not had one of the 75 recessions you have called since 2009.

          •  I've already responded to your bullshit, up... (0+ / 0-)

            ...above, in another thread.

            And, I love the ongoing effort to tell me how "wrong" I am/was. I report upon the commentary of others, far more knowledgeable than myself. I do not prognosticate. You and NDD should start a blog or at least write about this somewhere...oh, wait?!?!?

            To read the commentary, at "the other place," it's to the point where it's all well and good, as long as you continue to parrot the Fed (who couldn't give a rat's ass about unemployment, unless you're advocating for trickle-down economics--which, by definition, you ARE), ignore the rigged realities of our markets and well over half the population that's not even coming close to making ends meet, and the other greater realities (income inequality, a housing/mortgage environment that's nothing short of a joke, and a free-for-all for Wall Street, etc., etc.) that apply to 90% of the voting public. Other than that, your "work" is spot on, status quo, Wall Street bullsh*t. "Heckuva job," boyz! Heckuva of job.

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:27:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  This is what economic growth looks like when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the congress is trying to bring it to its knees and everyone else is struggling to stay above water.

    It's also sort of what an EKG looks like before it flatlines.

    Don't know if it can hold out till Dems are in control of congress, or as Mitch McConnell would put it, till hell freezes over.

    According to John McCain the solution is bomb somebody and of course Obama has instead taken the "drone them to death" approach, which just doesn't have the same ecomomic "oomph" as a full-blown world war.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:40:15 AM PST

  •  Last month a big deal was made over... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, scribeboy, Tweedledee5

    ...the fact that the Household survey showed 616,000 jobs added (as opposed to what was then 113,000 in the Business survey). This was touted as a sign that jobs growth was really better than it seemed.

    This month, the Household survey showed just 42,000 jobs added, and you can expect little comment about it.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:42:50 AM PST

    •  All things being equal, calling it a "recovery"... (0+ / 0-) pushing the literal boundaries of the definition of the word; and, certainly something which the top decile of our population will relate to. Everyone else, not so much. (But, you already know this.)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:06:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looking At The Graph (0+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that if you extend the 2007 red line it will end up above the 0% line (above the peak employment level when the recession started) some time before the 2014 mid-term elections, if it continues on its slow but positive upward trajectory.

    This would be a huge positive for Dems. in the Fall in response to any Republican claim that the Dem./Obama stimulus was a failure.  

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:31:47 AM PST

  •  Looking at your first chart, and knowing that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Tweedledee5

    we need 150,000 to 200,000 new jobs each month just to hold even, it seems we're just barely, barely in the positive on job growth over several years.

    This problem can be fixed. It's just that one side doesn't have the wisdom to create good messaging and the other side is so entrenched in an invalid ideology that nothing can be done.

    We're like a ship sailing directly for an ice berg. Everyone sees it and knows what will happen (except a radical minority who say it'll provide more ice for their drinks) and the captain doesn't even have a helm to steer the ship.

    We just keep going down the Road to Failure, on and on and on.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:23:13 AM PST

    •  The number of jobs needed to stay... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, Tweedledee5

      ...even is one that is argued about a lot.

      Before the 2010 Census, the Economic Policy Institute said 127,000. It now uses 90,000.

      The Atlanta Fed calculates that to stay even, the economy must generate 105,000 new jobs every month.

      It would take 24 consecutive months of double that—211,000 new jobs—to reach 5% unemployment, which was the rate when the Great Recession began in December 2007.  

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:20:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't done economic forecasting for my company (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tweedledee5, Meteor Blades

        now for a few years, but we used to look at around 150,000 as the "even" point.  Interesting that the EPI has reduced their numbers so much.  Is that because population isn't growing as a whole? Or some other odd influence?  

        This train wreck of a recession and mishandled "recovery efforts" have surely thrown a lot of sand into the gears of how everything worked "before."

        And of course, when you and I are talking about the 5% unemployment rate, that's the "best face" we can put on it: U3, not U6.  


        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:22:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  jake tapper on cnn (0+ / 0-)

    this morning had steve moore of the heritage foundation to comment on the jobs report, now that's what i call having an unbiased opinion to throw at the public, not.

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