The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is reporting that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 379,000 in February but is down by 9.5 million, or 6.2%, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. In February 2021, the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2% and more than 10 million persons remain unemployed. Most of February 2021 job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, with smaller gains in temporary help services, health care and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing. Employment declined in state and local government, education, construction, and mining. The BLS notes that the labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — FEBRUARY 2021