The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that U.S. employers added 678,000 jobs in February, exceeding economists’ forecasts of 440,000.
New job creation in both December 2021 and January 2022 was also higher than previously reported. With revisions, these months combined saw 92,000 more jobs added than the BLS data initially showed.
Several sectors saw significant job gains in February
Leisure and hospitality once again led the way in employment growth, adding 179,000 jobs last month as businesses in that industry continue to rebound from pandemic-related economic impacts.
The BLS reports that education and health services employers also saw strong gains in employment in February, with employers adding 112,000 jobs.
Professional and businesses services helped fuel job growth in February, as well. According to the BLS, employers in this sector added 95,000 jobs — including 36,000 positions in temporary help services.
The February jobs report shows these industries also experienced notable payroll expansion last month:
- Construction: 60,000 jobs added
- Transportation and warehousing: 47,600 jobs added
- Retail trade: 36,900 jobs added
- Manufacturing: 36,000 jobs added
- Financial activities: 35,000 jobs added
- Government: 24,000 jobs added
- Wholesale trade: 18,300 jobs added
Unemployment rate dips to 3.8%
The national unemployment rate was 3.8% in February, down from 4.0% in January.
The unemployment rate for college-degreed workers who are 25 or older was 2.2% last month, edging down slightly from 2.3% in January. These professionals are the most highly sought after by employers.
Number of employed persons working remotely declines to 13.0%
The BLS reports that 13.0% of employed persons teleworked in February due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s down from 15.4% in January, when the highly contagious omicron variant was surging.
The BLS describes these workers as employed persons who worked away from the office for pay at some point in the last four weeks specifically because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, household survey supplemental data from the BLS finds that the number of people unable to work at all, or who worked fewer hours at some point in the four weeks preceding the latest survey due to the pandemic, was 4.2 million. In January, that figure was 6.0 million.
Stay informed about the latest hiring trends
The Demand for Skilled Talent report from Robert Half provides the latest data on hiring trends and top positions for several key industries, including accounting and finance, technology, healthcare, human resources, and marketing and creative. Our current report offers insight on the candidate “ghosting” trend, why many workers are planning to launch a job search soon, and the reasons companies miss out on hiring their top picks.
Read the report now on the Robert Half website.