National Unemployment Rate Continues To Drop

Employment on the rise - IllustrationThe last time that the national unemployment rate in the United States was under 9%? April of 2009.

Earlier this morning, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) released the February employment numbers. Nonfarm payroll employment rose +192k, while the unemployment rate dropped to 8.9% from 9.0%. Analysts were looking for the unemployment rate to tick higher to 9.1% and for the country to add +196k nonfarm payroll jobs.

The nonfarm payroll "whisper number" was quite a bit higher than +192k, which is one of the reasons why the markets are a bit off this morning.


As mentioned, this is the first time that the national unemployment rate has been below 9% since April of 2009.

In April of 2009, the national unemployment rate was 8.9%. At the time, the economy was still paralyzed by the meltdown of the financial markets that took place in the fall of 2008, and everyone was certain that the jobless rate was going to go quite a bit higher. It did, topping out at 10.2% in October of 2009.


Some other notes from the February "Employment Situation Summary":

-13.7 million unemployed persons in February

-unemployment rate of 8.7% for adult men and 8.0% for adult women in February

-unemployment rate of 23.9% for teenagers in February

-6.0 million long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more) in February

-civilian labor force participation rate (64.2%) and employment-population ratio (58.4%) both unchanged in February

-8.3 million people employed part time for economic reasons in February (these are people who want full time work but either their hours have been cut back or they can't find full time work)

-2.7 million marginally attached to the labor force in February

-1.0 million discouraged workers in February

-33,000 jobs added in both the manufacturing and construction industries in February



Source: - Historical Unemployment Rates

Filed under: General Knowledge

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