The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in February 2013 – the lowest level since December 2008 – while total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 jobs and the number of unemployed persons dipped to 12 million during the month, according to ‘THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — FEBRUARY 2013’ report released today by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The report also revised the change in nonfarm employment for December 2012 from 196,000 jobs added up to 219,000 jobs added and the change for January 2013 was revised from 157,000 jobs added down to 119,000 jobs added.
As for specific industries, professional and business services, construction, health care, retail trade, and information experienced job gains over the month.
Professional and business services employment added 73,000 jobs in February 2013, with administrative and support services rising by 44,000 jobs and accounting and bookkeeping services adding 11,000 jobs.
Construction employment increased by 48,000 jobs in February 2013, with residential specialty trade contractors adding 17,000 jobs and nonresidential specialty trade contractors adding 15,000 jobs. Since September 2012, construction employment has risen by 151,000 jobs.
Health care employment continued to grow with 32,000 jobs added in February 2013. Within health care, ambulatory health care services added 14,000 jobs while nursing/residential care facilities and hospitals both added 9,000 jobs each.
Retail trade employment rose by 24,000 jobs in February 2013, and has added 252,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Information industry employment increased in February 2013 with 20,000 jobs added due to a large gain in the motion picture and sound recording industry.
The report also found that employment in other major industries showed little change over the month.
The Employment Situation Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is released on first Friday of each month at www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.
The March 2013 Employment Situation Report will be released on Friday, April 5, 2013.