US Economy Adds 379,000 Jobs in February

Strong Month for Temporary Employment Jobs 

Mountain View, California — March 8, 2021 — Total nonfarm employment in the US rose by 379,000 jobs in February, per the seasonally adjusted data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The national unemployment rate fell from 6.3% in January to 6.2% for February, even though participation in the labor force increased. 

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Nine of the 15 major industry groups posted job gains in February. The sectors most contributing to total nonfarm employment jobs growth were Leisure & Hospitality (+355,000) and Temporary Help (+52,700). Government (-86,000) reported the largest job decline for the month, driven by reductions around government-run schools. All of the 15 major industry groups are still down year-over-year.

Temporary help services employment saw strong gains, adding 52,700 jobs in February. Year-over-year, temporary help services is still down 6%. Revisions to the temporary help services sector for December, from +64,300 to +62,100, and January, from +80,900 to +96,400, increased previous estimates by 13,300 jobs. The temporary penetration rate rose from 1.90% in January to 1.94% in February, reaching its highest level since January 2020.

“February was another strong month for temporary help services jobs growth,” said Barry Asin, SIA President. “The recent trends in the temporary employment sector are consistent with the beginning of an economic expansion, and with favorable GDP projections for Q1 2021, we would expect to see a recovery path more v-shaped than previously thought.”

SIA’s complete March Jobs Report analysis is available for the entire workforce solutions ecosystem. SIA features an Interactive Jobs Report tool in addition to the regular analysis, available for SIA Corporate and CWS Council Members.

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