The February 2021 Jobs Report: What is the Current US Employment Situation?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly overview of the US employment situation and the data for February looks similar to that of January as the pandemic continues to suppress the economy. The labor department jobs report examines a range of US jobs data to gauge the overall health of the US economy, specifically the number of jobs added, the unemployment rate, and what industries are hiring now.
The February jobs report shows little improvement in the labor market. Unemployment remained fairly stable at 6.2% and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 379,000, while the number of unemployed persons remained relatively unchanged at 10 million (compared to 5.8 million in February 2020).
Here are some other key statistics from the labor department jobs report:
- 22.7% percent of employed persons teleworked specifically due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s a slight decreased from 23.2% in January.
- 13.3 million people were unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic. This number has decreased by 1.5 million since January.
- 4.2 million people who were not in the labor force in February were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic. This number has decreased from 4.7 million in January.
February brought job gains in sectors like Leisure & Hospitality, as some states begin to ease pandemic-related restrictions, and job loss in other industries hiring in 2021, like Education and Construction. Here’s how industries were impacted in February:
Overall, the labor department jobs report suggests that the economy is still sluggish despite vaccination efforts and states reopening across the country.