Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- The Employment Situation
Total nonfarm payrolls improved by 236,000 in February, coming in well above consensus forecasts. Revisions to prior months, on net, subtracted 15,000 from our previous estimates. Over the past three months, payrolls are averaging a gain of 195,000. Private payrolls advanced by 246,000 in February, compared to a downwardly revised 119,000 gain in January. Performance across broad industries was good. The largest gains were seen in construction (up 48,000) healthcare (up 32,000) and professional and business services (up 73,000). Elsewhere on the establishment side, average weekly hours ticked up slightly to 34.5, which helped to nudge average weekly earnings up to $821.79. On the household side, the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent, although the employment to population ratio was flat at 58.6 percent for the third consecutive month.