235,000 Jobs Added to the Economy in February

The Latest From the BLS Employment Report:

The second jobs report of 2017 showed that the economy continues to trend positively. The Labor Department reports that 235,000 jobs were added in February. The unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.7 percent, down .2 percent year-over-year. The actual number of jobs added far exceeded the predicted number of 190,000, and as a result, there is an increased likelihood of a rate increase by the Fed when they meet next week. Despite this, emerging-market currencies surged following the report’s release.

In February, jobs were added in construction (58,000), private educational services (29,000), manufacturing (28,000), health care (27,000) and mining (8,000). The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised down from 157,000 to 155,000, while January was revised up from 227,000 to 238,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 9,000 more than previously reported. Job gains have averaged 209,000 over the past three months.

President Trump’s first full month saw a large increase in jobs, an indication that the economy is very healthy right now. However, economists say that it will be very difficult for Trump to fulfill his promise to create 25 million jobs over the next 10 years amid an already-low unemployment rate and Boomers retiring at rapid rates. It is also uncertain how a rate hike by the Fed would impact the growth trend.

Economists’ predictions

Economists predicted 190,000 additions ahead of this morning’s jobs report and the report exceeded expectations with 235,000 jobs added.

February jobs report

This Month’s Jobs Report

Let’s break down the numbers from this month’s jobs report.

In February, hourly wages increased by $0.06 to $26.09 per hour, following a 5-cent increase in January. This brings the year-over-year wage percentage increase to 2.8 percent. The unemployment rate saw a slight decrease to 4.7 percent.

Wages

  • $26.09 February
    • 0.06 month-over-month
    • 2.8% year-over-year
  • $26.03 January

Unemployment

  • 4.7% February
    • -.1% month-over-month
  • 4.8% January

Let’s take a deeper dive into this month’s legal industry numbers:

In-Depth Look: Legal Industry

Legal Services

  • Month-over-month change: -1,300
  • Year-over-year change: +6,000
  • Previous Months:
    • January: -900
    • December: +2,000
    • November: -500

Professional and business services

  • Month-over-month change: +37,000
  • Year-over-year change: +597,000

The unemployment rate for the subsector that includes legal services now sits at 5.5 percent.

With job growth remaining steady, understanding your workforce continues to be key to recruiting and retaining top legal talent.

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To ensure your office remains competitive and is considered a top employer for professionals, our 2017 Salary Guide is the top resource for insights on what to pay legal professionals in your city.

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