Non-Farm Employment in the U.S. Surges in February, Exceeding Expectations

The U.S. Department of Labor has released the employment report for February, revealing that non-farm employment in the country increased by 275,000 individuals, surpassing market expectations. However, the unemployment rate also rose from 3.7% to 3.9%.

In the detailed report, the Department of Labor disclosed that non-farm employment in the country saw a significant increase of 275,000 individuals in February, exceeding the anticipated growth of 198,000 jobs. Various sectors contributed to this surge, including healthcare services, public administration, food and beverage services, social assistance, transportation, and warehousing.

The data for non-farm employment in December 2023 and January 2024 underwent a downward revision. Accordingly, the reported increase in non-farm employment for December 2023 was revised from 333,000 to 290,000, and for January 2024, it was revised from 353,000 to 229,000.

The unemployment rate in the U.S. experienced a 0.2% increase, reaching 3.9% in February, marking the highest level in the last two years. The market had expected the unemployment rate to remain at the January level of 3.7%.

The number of unemployed individuals in the country rose by 334,000 in February, reaching 6.458 million. The labor force participation rate remained steady at 62.5% for the third consecutive month.

During this period, the average weekly working hours increased to 34.3, while the average hourly earnings, closely monitored by the Federal Reserve (Fed), saw a 0.1% rise, reaching $34.57. Market expectations were for a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings during this period. The average hourly earnings had experienced the lowest increase since February 2022, with a 0.5% rise recorded in January.

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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