"Total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in February (+20,000), and the unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent," the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

Key takeaways from the press release

  • The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent in February, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million.
  • The labor force participation rate held at 63.2 percent in February and has changed little over the year.
  • The employment-population ratio, at 60.7 percent, was unchanged over the month but was up by 0.3 percentage point over the year.
  • The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in February.
  • In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 11 cents to $27.66, following a 2-cent gain in January. 

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