Another 227,000 jobs were added in February, following January's 243,000 job gain. The unemployment rate remained at 8.3%, according to the most recent Employment Report. If jobs were added, why didn't the number of unemployed decrease? Because people who had dropped out of the labor force came back, and started looking for work again.
Businesses were responsible for all the job gains, adding 233,000 workers. Another bit of good news is that local, state and federal governments only lost 6,000 workers. In 2011, the government shed 22,000 jobs a month.
Jobs were added in the same areas as last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics :
- Business and professional services -- 82,000.
- Health care -- 61,000 (double January's job gains).
- Hospitality -- 44,000 (mostly restaurants).
- Manufacturing -- 31,000.
As expected, retail lost jobs as stores let go of temporary holiday workers. Construction remained flat, while mining added 7, 000 jobs. (Source: Employment Situation Summary, March 9, 2012)
What This Means for You
It's great that the economy is adding 227,000 jobs per month. This time last year, it only added 36,000 jobs (to compare to other months, see Employment Statistics). However, with 12.8 million people still looking for a job, it will be awhile before the economy adds enough jobs for them all.
As a result, there are 5.6 million people who have been unemployed for six months or more. who have been without a job for that long. This has created structural unemployment, when job skills become outdated and don't match up with those needed by employers.
The answer is job training. Fortunately, the House of Representatives passed the American Jobs Act. This legislation should create an additional 7 million jobs.
If you are unemployed, check out this help from other About.com Guides:
- Top 10 Fastest Growing Jobs With a High School Diploma or GED, by the About.com Guide to Careers, Dawn Rosenberg McKay.
- If you're over 50, get Free Job Training and Placement for Older Workers.
- Alison Doyle, the About.com Guide to Job Searching, has a wealth of resources -- start with Prepare for a Job Search.
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