Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 379,000 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total unemployed persons decreased to 10 million in February. Unemployment decreased to 6.2%.
Most of the job gains in February were 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.
Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 355,000, as pandemic-related restrictions eased in some parts of the country. About four-fifths of the increase was in food services and drinking places (+286,000). Despite the gains, since February 2020 employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 3.5 million, or 20.4%.
The civilian labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.4%. persons on temporary layoff fell by 517,000 in February to 2.2 million. This measure is 1.5 million higher than the level a year earlier but is down considerably from the recent high of 18.0 million in April 2020. Workers with permanent job loss was unchanged at 3.5 million. Workers unemployed less than 5 weeks decreased to 2.2 million.
Read the BLS release.