Devil in the details

Twelve telling charts we pulled from the perky US jobs report

March 7, 2014
March 7, 2014

Not bad. The US economy generated 175,000 jobs in February, up from 129,000 in January, and better than economic prognosticators had prognosticated. The unemployment rate rose a tenth of a percentage point to 6.7%.

You already know the headline numbers. Here are some of the important details from the data:

Weather was a big deal in February

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 9.19.30 AM

Bad weather likely was to blame for the shortened work weeks in recent months

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But people also seem to be coming back into the labor force, which grew by 264,000

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Though the overall participation rate remains low, due in part to retiring baby boomers

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If you strip out the old folks by looking only at the working-age population, participation among men has improved recently

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Things are clearly still rough for a lot of people, especially those stuck in part-time jobs against their will

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In terms of good news, production workers got their best monthly raise in years

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State and local hiring, which has been a drag on the job market in recent years, picked up by about 19,000

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Temp workers, sometimes viewed as a barometer of future hiring, also bounced back, adding more than 24,000 jobs

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Some 15,000 construction jobs were created, despite the weather

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It was a good month for better-paying business and professional service jobs, which grew by 79,000

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The broadest gauge of US under-employment (definition here) fell to its lowest level since the fall of 2008, when the financial crisis deepened

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