Yesterday the Department of Labor, Bureau or Labor Statistics (BLS) released the February 2013 Employment Situation report. Unemployment during the month of February moved to 7.7% lowest since 2008 with a surprising gain in construction jobs. During February there were 236,000 jobs that were added to the economy. Of the 236,000 jobs created the industry leaders during February were Professional and business services adding 73,000 jobs, construction adding 48,000 jobs and health care adding 32,000 jobs.
With a national unemployment rate at 7.7% this means there are 12 million jobless Americans. Of that number the Employment Situation reports there are 4.8 million who have been been jobless for 27 weeks or more and are deemed long term unemployed. This group of long term unemployed represent 40.2 percent of the total national unemployment.
Not counted in the February national unemployment rate are 8 million involuntary part time workers because they cannot find full time work or because their hours worked have been cut. Another category not counted in the national unemployment rate are the 2.6 million persons who are considered marginally attached to the labor force. This group is not counted as unemployed because they have not searched for work in the last four weeks. Among the marginally attached workers there are 885,000 discouraged workers who has simply given up because they do not believe there is a job out there for them.
When you add the 12 million unemployed, 8 million involuntary part time workers and 2.6 million discouraged workers the sum is 22.6 million either unemployed or underemployed people. This is slightly lower than the previous month and points to a unofficial national unemployment rate of 14.5%.
To view the full report can go to http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf. The next national Employment Situation report will be released by the Labor Department on April 5, 2013 that will cover March 2012.
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