Private Job Growth Over Last Year is Strongest Since 2006, Mfg. Continues to Lead Economy
From today's Employment Report:
1. Employment in temporary help services continued to grow by 20,100 jobs in February, which was the 7th consecutive monthly increase and the 27th increase in the last 29 months. The 2.4 million temporary and contract employment jobs at the end of last month was the highest since May 2008, more than three and-a-half years ago (see chart above), and is only 160,000 jobs below the pre-recession level of 2.6 million in November 2007.
2. Overtime hours for the manufacturing sector, at an average of 4.4 hours per week, reached a 4-1/2 year high in February, the highest level of manufacturing overtime hours since June 2007 (see chart above).
3. Manufacturing employment increased by 29,000 jobs in February, which brings the total number of new manufacturing jobs since 2010 to 425,000, the largest 26-month increase in factory jobs since 1998.
4. Over the last three months, more than 15% of the 734,000 new payroll jobs created in the economy have been in the manufacturing sector (111,000), even though manufacturing employment represents fewer than 9% of total payroll jobs.
5. For the ninth month in a row starting last June, the jobless rate for the manufacturing sector in February at 8.4% (not seasonally adjusted) was below the overall unemployment rate of 8.7% (not seasonally adjusted).
6. Over the last 12 months, total payroll employment has increased by more than 2 million jobs, the largest one-year gain in jobs since the 12-month period ending January 2007, slightly more than 5 years ago.
7. The gain in private payroll employment over the last 12 months, 2.247 million, is the largest 12-month in private payrolls gain since May 2006, 5-1/2 years ago.
Bottom Line: The labor market continues to gradually improve, private job growth over the last 12 months is the highest since 2006, and the manufacturing sector continues to be at the forefront of the economic expansion.