The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its household survey data and revealed that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 jobs in February 2012. Gains were seen in the professional and business services, healthcare and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining sectors. The number of unemployed persons held steady over the month at 12.8 million, maintaining the 8.3 percent national unemployment rate.
Breaking down the unemployment groups: adult men and women had an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent, teenagers 23.8 percent, whites 7.3 percent), blacks 14.1 percent, Hispanics 10.7 percent, and Asians 6.3 percent. Those experiencing unemployment for at least 27 weeks also changed little over the month, resting at 5.4 million, accounting for 42.6 percent of all unemployed persons. Labor force participation within the civilian workforce rose to 63.9 percent.
Employed persons working part-time involuntarily (i.e. for economic reasons) numbered 8.1 million in February. The reasons behind the limited work were due to hours being cut or an inability to find full-time employment. Those individuals not in the labor force but having looked for a job within the last 12 months numbered 2.6 million during February and were not considered unemployed for the survey because they had not sought work during the prior 4 week period.
Of these marginally attached individuals, about one million were discouraged and were not looking for work because they felt no jobs were available. The remaining 1.6 million people had neglected job-search activities due to other reasons such as family responsibilities or school.