According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the numbers of employed declined slightly in February with the national unemployment rate holding steady at 9.7%:
Nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (-36,000) in February, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment fell in construction and information, while temporary help services added jobs. Severe winter weather in parts of the country may have affected payroll employment and hours; however, it is not possible to quantify precisely the net impact of the winter storms on these measures.
The areas in which employment are increasing are temporary help, healthcare, and the federal government. It’s hard for me to see those as the foundation for a robust recovery. Earnings for employed people, too, have been pretty stable over the period of the last year:
In February, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $22.46. Over the past 12
months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.9 percent. In February, average hourly earnings of private production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $18.93.