Economy Wintered That Storm: Unemployment at 9.7 Percent

By March 5, 2010Economy

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment Situation Summary” for February 2010.

Nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (-36,000) in February, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment fell in construction and information, while tem- porary help services added jobs. Severe winter weather

in parts of the country may have affected payroll employment and hours; however, it is not possible to quantify precisely the net impact of the winter storms on these measures.

And …

Employment in manufacturing was essentially unchanged in February. Small job gains in a number of component industries were offset by job losses in motor vehicles and parts and in chemicals.

Judging from all the news stories about weather-affected employment, thought the situation would have much worse. Good job of managing expectations, expectation managers!

Washington Post reports: “Job losses were surprisingly mild in February, the Labor Department said, as the employers cut 36,000 net jobs. Economists had expected worse losses due to the snowstorms last month. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.7 percent. The numbers suggest that while the job market is still weak, it is not worsening significantly.”

The photo above is K Street, Washington, looking west toward Farragut Square, 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10.

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