Unemployment stays at 8.3%, 227K jobs added

posted at 8:40 am on March 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

It looks like the ADP report was more predictive than Gallup for February’s job numbers.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 227,000 jobs were added in February while the unemployment rate remained level at 8.3%:

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining.

Why didn’t the unemployment rate drop if we added 227K jobs? It dropped by three-tenths of a percent with similar job-creation numbers last month. This month, the workforce number increased:

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.4 million in February. These individuals accounted for 42.6 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

Both the labor force and employment rose in February. The civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, edged up over the month.

The U-6 number, which has been used as a gauge of “real unemployment” — dropped to its lowest level in years, 14.9%, down from 15.1% in January and 15.9% in February 2011.  The number of those unemployed for five weeks or less rose as a percentage of overall unemployed, from 19.3% in January to 19.9% in February, while those jobless for 5-14 weeks rose fell from 22.4% to 22.0%. The civilian participation rate rose from 63.7% to 63.9%, and the employment-population ratio rose from 58.5% to 58.6% — not dramatic, but a step in the right direction.

Still, Gallup is usually a good indicator of what is to come in either the same month or the month following.  Until then, this is a good jobs report, although not significant enough to make a big dent in the massive overhang of joblessness.  At this rate, it would take close to three years to get back to the pre-recession level of employment in the US.

Update: Reuters gets to what’s important in this report by the third paragraph:

Employment grew solidly for a third straight month in February, a sign the economic recovery was broadening and in less need of further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

Employers added 227,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, while the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent.

It marked the first time since early 2011 that payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for three months in a row – bolstering President Barack Obama’s chances for re-election.

Unexpectedly?


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Gallup
President Obama averaged 45% approval from Americans in February, it is noteworthy that no elected president from Dwight Eisenhower through George W. Bush saw his approval rating drop below 50% for this long leading up to his re-election year. Rather, all seven presidents — including Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, both of whom lost their re-election bids — received at least 50% approval at some point late in their third year or early in their fourth year, if not routinely throughout their first term.

Rasmussen March 9th
In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, Mitt Romney now leads President Obama 47% to 45%.

Ras is in line with gallup

Conservative4ev on March 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Actually, things are looking better for me. I snagged another job as a temp. Yeah.

carbon_footprint on March 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

the number of people holding Multiple Jobs rose by 286K in February

Double counting.

Obama thinks we should all work 2 or 3 jobs. That’s a good thing in the Obama Economy.

faraway on March 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I’m not sure my stomach is going to make it until November. How much “all is well” propaganda are we supposed to swallow between now and then?

natasha333 on March 9, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Top level executives are setting profit and productivity goals that are impossible to acheive and using that as justification to deny people bonuses and raises. That’s the bigger source of despair and none of it is Barack Obama’s fault.

libfreeordie on March 9, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Top shelf executives who want their company/corporation to survive understand that in 2013 they will face a tsunami of new taxes and regulations. They are, like the rest of us, stashing as much cash as possible just to survive until 2014 when the final hammer hits on Obamacare.

You are an absolute fool if you think a company’s business plan includes losing their best employees. Besides, if the economy were growing, employees could shop for a better job or better benefits. Noone is looking because they know if they’re lucky enough to have a job, they’ll do everything they can to keep it.

I get a huge kick watching Obama and his energy guy tell people to go buy a new electric car. How in the heck is anyone going to buy one of those things? Who do you know who can afford a $600 a month car payment? I don’t know where you liberals buy your groceries, but putting gas in the car and eating are becoming necessary choices for families. The price of peanut butter has doubled. The price for one loaf of bread is $4 to $5. A gallon of milk costs $4.25. Forget arugula. Apples are $2.75 a pound. I was going to buy three ears of corn last night, but didn’t. They cost $3.49. Just think. It costs $15 to feed your kids a peanutbutter sandwich—no jam.

And Obama wants me to pay for the sex life of a Georgetown Law student. Disgusting bunch of thieves. The whole lot of you.

Portia46 on March 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I’m considering writing a new book and calling it “Enema of the State” with KeninC–T as the main caricature.

DevilsPrinciple on March 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Both the

labor force

and employment rose in February

Hmmmmm what’s up with that? DoL has been artifically dropping that value month after month for a while, but now they choose to report the reality of an ever increasing labor force?

“Curiouser and curiouser.”

I’m very excited that 227,000 Americans found a job.

Anyone rooting for bad news is not an American and should be identified as an enemy of the state

liberal4life on March 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Ok on point A. That is good news. We’re treading water. Point b. is over the top.

I’m very sad reading this thread? Why are people hating on this?

Anyone looking forward to a bad economy in November will be very disappointed

liberal4life on March 9, 2012 at 11:28 AM

We aren’t hating. As others have repeatedly tried to tell you, we just don’t buy the snake oil. But you already think the economy is doing great right?

If the economy is getting better, then why did new home sales in the United States hit a brand new all-time record low during 2011?

If the economy is getting better, then why are there 6 million less jobs in America today than there were before the recession started?

If the economy is getting better, then why is the average duration of unemployment in this country close to an all-time record high?

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of homeless female veterans more than doubled?

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of Americans on food stamps increased by 3 million since this time last year and by more than 14 million since Barack Obama entered the White House?

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of children living in poverty in America risen for four years in a row?

If the economy is getting better, then why is the percentage of Americans living in “extreme poverty” at an all-time high?

If the economy is getting better, then why is the Federal Housing Administration on the verge of a financial collapse?

If the economy is getting better, then why do only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012?

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of self-employed Americans fallen by more than 2 million since 2006?

If the economy is getting better, then why did an all-time record low percentage of U.S. teens have a job last summer?

If the economy is getting better, then why does median household income keep declining? Overall, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% since December 2007 once you account for inflation.

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by 10 million since 2006?

If the economy is getting better, then why is the average age of a vehicle in America now sitting at an all-time high?

If the economy is getting better, then why are 18 percent of all homes in the state of Florida currently sitting vacant?

If the economy is getting better, then why are 19 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 34 living with their parents?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/if-the-economy-is-improving

dogsoldier on March 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

If things are so rosy why doesn’t liberal media report the U6 unemployment number as they did when Bush was in office?

Why hide it?

dogsoldier on March 9, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I’m considering writing a new book and calling it “Enema of the State” with KeninC–T as the main caricature.

DevilsPrinciple on March 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Can you really get more than one page out of that? He has a total of two sentences.

Lemme see if I can remember them… “Heartache!” darn I can’t remember the other one. Something about real Americans.

dogsoldier on March 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I’m very excited that 227,000 Americans found a job.

Anyone rooting for bad news is not an American and should be identified as an enemy of the state

liberal4life on March 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

The problem is that 227,000 Americans found a 2nd or 3rd job.

faraway on March 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

The real unemployment is btw. 15-17%.

Schadenfreude on March 9, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Over at Yahoo

On jobs, former Obama aide Goolsbee warns against irrational exuberance

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/jobs-former-obama-aide-goolsbee-warns-against-irrational-154346673.html

The comments over there are terrific. It is heartening to see the American people waking up.

dogsoldier on March 9, 2012 at 1:46 PM

The real unemployment is btw. 15-17%.

Schadenfreude on March 9, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Actually its hovering around 25%

See shaowstats.com and the youngstown study. The youngstown study adds a couple groups into their calculations that probably shouldn’t be, but the rest of the data there is something to chew on.

These two sites arent the only ones.

The total number of unemployed or underemployed is close to 30 million.

dogsoldier on March 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

The problem is that 227,000 Americans found a 2nd or 3rd job.

faraway on March 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Temp job at that…

dogsoldier on March 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I am amazed at the Chutzpah of Barry when he said this morning at the Rolls Royce plant : Manufacturing is adding jobs for the first time since 1990s. How he can lie with a straight face.

galtani on March 9, 2012 at 2:06 PM

I’m very excited that 227,000 Americans found a job.

Anyone rooting for bad news is not an American and should be identified as an enemy of the state

liberal4life on March 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Of course Im an enemy of the state, I still believe in the constitution. Whats bad for the state is good for liberty.

Machismo on March 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

The problem is that 227,000 Americans found a 2nd or 3rd job.

faraway on March 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM
Temp job at that…

dogsoldier on March 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Just got back from the Post Office. The guy in front of me had maybe 15 packages. All different sizes. “Ebay?” I ask. Yup. It’s the ONLY way he can fill his tank to get to work and feed his kids.

“But the Prez said it’s all hunky doory and good times ahead,” says I. He laughed (as did everyone in line). Sandra Fluke came up as folks chimmed in and one woman said EXACTLY what I’ve been saying..”we have to pay for that floozy’s sex life?”

I don’t know who’s doing the polling out there, but people are veeeery angry and I live in a very blue state.

Portia46 on March 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

The Real Job Story:

Counting only those Americans who are actively looking for work, the jobless rate is 8.3 percent, just like it was in January. But counting those who stopped looking for work within the last year, the rate is 9.8 percent.

“It’s not 8 percent — anybody who’s out there in the real world knows that. We need real numbers, not D.C. numbers.”

Black workers still face a 14.1 percent jobless rate. The rate for Hispanics is 10.7 percent.

Youth unemployment, for those between 16 and 19, is 23.8 percent. Black youth unemployment is 34.7 percent.

imasoulman on March 9, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I don’t know who’s doing the polling out there, but people are veeeery angry and I live in a very blue state.

Portia46 on March 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I’ve been hearing it frequently too, even in the peoples republic of MA.

dogsoldier on March 9, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I’m very excited that 227,000 Americans found a job.

Anyone rooting for bad news is not an American and should be identified as an enemy of the state

liberal4life on March 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

8.3% unemployment is .3% more than we were promised unemployment wouldn’t go over 3 years ago if we passed a trillion dollar stimulus.

If a Republican President had 8.3% unemployment I doubt you would feel the same way.

Wagthatdog on March 9, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Wonder what the unemployment number would look like if all of the workforce re-applied for unemployment checks??? 12%?? 13/%??
Nice goin’, Mr. J@ck@ss-In-Chief!?! You’re doin’ a HELLUVA job!?!
Your approval ratings should really be, what, 12%, 13%??? After all, you shafted the Spanish folks. You unemployed 25% of the black folks, 45% of black youth. I guess that’s why they call you the J@ck@ss-In-Chief. Keep it up. You’re doin’a HELLUVA job!?!

Colatteral Damage on March 9, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 9, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Thanks, Del.

Steve Eggleston on March 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Wonder what the unemployment number would look like if all of the workforce re-applied for unemployment checks??? 12%?? 13/%??
Nice goin’, Mr. J@ck@ss-In-Chief!?! You’re doin’ a HELLUVA job!?!
Your approval ratings should really be, what, 12%, 13%??? After all, you shafted the Spanish folks. You unemployed 25% of the black folks, 45% of black youth. I guess that’s why they call you the J@ck@ss-In-Chief. Keep it up. You’re doin’a HELLUVA job!?!

Colatteral Damage on March 9, 2012 at 4:23 PM

11.9%, which is higher than anytime before March 2009. Of course, that tertiary stat can only be calculated for the last 18 years.

Steve Eggleston on March 9, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Is the new jobs added number a net gain? If there are 250,000 new jobs created, how many are offset by jobs lost as companies closed and employees laid off? Is the unemployment rate number remaining unchanged just from more people re-entering the economy looking for jobs?

galtani on March 9, 2012 at 8:42 PM

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