Where The Jobs Were In February: Who's Hiring And Who Isn't

While February was expected to match the January payrolls number at best, the February payrolls print was a blockbuster, blowing expectations out of the water with 313K jobs added, over 785K according to the Household Survey, and a record 1 million full and part-time jobs.

So which sectors were responsible for the surge in February employment? The key highlights: virtually every industry added jobs in February, with a particular focus on construction workers, which added a whopping 61K jobs in February...


  • Construction: +61K

  • Durable Goods: +32K

  • Retail: +50K (Big Building Materials and Department Store non-firing)

  • Professional Services: +50K (solid temp workers of +27K)

  • Government: +26K (Schools +27K)


... with the exception of information, which saw a drop of 12K jobs.

Some other notable changes:


  • Manufacturing: +31K

  • Healthcare: +9K

  • Mining: +9K

  • Financial Activities: +28K


Commenting on the data, SouthBay research noted the following:



  • Construction: Much higher than expected.  Homebuilders are hiring and the bottlenecks I saw did not show up in BLS data


  • Manufacturing: Higher than expected.  My data shows demand is strong but more moderate


  • Financial: Higher than expected.  More lending and sales agents


What was also quite notable was the sharp, +50,300 jump in retail jobs, which according to the BLS, have wiped out the doldrums from the recent bricks and mortar collapse, and are back to record high.

Southbay's summary: "Broad strength.  Notable strength in the supply chain (manufacturing, transportation) and consumer (home construction, Lending, Retail, Leisure & Hospitality)"

Finally, as Bloomberg shows, below are the industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth for the most recent month: monthly growth rates are shown for the prior year.

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