Job Market

U.S. Economy Added 379,000 Jobs in February 2021, Beating Expectations

Employment rose by 379,000 jobs in February 2021 compared to expectations of 210,000. This increase has resulted in a slight decrease in the unemployment rate at 6.2% vs. 6.3% the month prior, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While it was a small decrease in the unemployment rate, it was the strongest showing since October 2020.

Many of the job gains occurred in the leisure and hospitality industry with 355,000 added jobs, due to increased vaccine efforts and reduced dining and other leisure restrictions across the country. We also saw small gains in temporary help services, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing, which could be a good sign for the job market as more and more states come out of lockdown.

Comparing these numbers to the pre-pandemic statistics in February 2020, nonfarm payroll employment is down by 9.5 million, which means there is still an opportunity for growth.

Key Highlights From the February BLS report

  • 379,000 jobs added
  • Unemployment edged slightly down to 6.2% from 6.3% the month prior.
  • Unemployment rate for college-degreed workers is 3.8%, down from 4.0% the month prior

Notable Market Changes in the Latest BLS Report

  • Within professional and business services, temporary help services added 53,000 jobs in February
  • Employment in health care and social assistance increased by 46,000 in February
  • Retail trade added 41,000 jobs
  • Manufacturing employment increased by 21,000 over the month
  • Employment changed little in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and other services
  • The government and construction sectors saw declines

The job market still has a lot of growth that needs to be had. However, with the positive reactions to the vaccines and more industries starting to open for business as restrictions ease, we are already seeing an increase in hiring activity across different business sectors.

While the reality is that there are fewer jobs than a year ago, we are seeing an increase in activity with hiring. What are you forecasting for your business needs in the short term or long term – and how can we help?

Need temporary staffing or help with direct hiring? Or have questions about trends in the local market, your Roth Staffing representative will consult with you 1:1 to discuss your needs. Find your nearest branch today!