The February jobs report was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. It paints a relatively rosy picture with solid job growth of 295,000 and a declining unemployment rate that reached 5.5 percent. Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics provides an informative snapshot of the recent job trends in employment.
Chart 1: Year-to-year job gains are steadily rising.
Chart 2: Unemployment rate continues to fall.
Chart 3: Labor force participation rate continues to fall which is not good, but employment to population ratio is rising, which is good.
Chart 4: Even though the type of jobs are improving, we are still seeing more part-time jobs than full-time jobs.
Chart 5: Unemployment rate is falling for all levels of education.
Chart 6: Long-term unemployment rate has steadily fallen, suggesting that the job market is improving.
Chart 7: While length of unemployment remains higher than pre-recession period, it is also falling.
Chart 8: While long-term unemployment is still above pre-recession levels, short-term unemployment is below it.
Chart 9: Even though average hourly wages remain relatively stagnant, the number of hours worked is rising, which is driving up average weekly earnings over the last quarter.
Chart 10: Recent surge in employment suggests that we might be near full employment.
When evaluating labor markets, it is more useful to evaluate them over an extended period. Most of these ten charts suggest that the U.S. labor market is headed in the right direction.