Jason Furman: The Employment Situation in February
1. The private sector has added 12.0 million jobs over 60 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 295,000 in February, largely due to a 288,000 increase in private-sector employment. Although private-sector job gains in December and January were revised down, the private employment gains over the past twelve months total 3.2 million—the largest 12-month increase since 1998. 4. The last time the private sector added more than 12 million jobs over five years was April 1996 to March 2001. There are some notable differences between the current stretch of job gains and the one from 1996 to 2001.
In particular, the manufacturing sector has added 877,000 jobs over the last five years, while it lost 255,000 jobs during the 1996-2001 period. Moreover, the private-sector job gains during the 1996-2001 period coincided with the addition of more than 1.5 million State and local government positions; in contrast, over the last five years, State and local government employment has on net fallen by 423,000 jobs. The two periods did, however, exhibit remarkably similar job growth in sectors like health care and social assistance, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing. Finally, it is worth noting that the two periods took place at different stages of the business cycle—in 1996, the economy was well into a period of sustained expansion, but in 2010, it was just starting to recover from the worst crisis since the Great Depression. That is why despite the progress that has been made, the President believes more must still be done to capitalize on the recovery and strengthen the labor market.
Vice President Biden (@VP) March 06, 2015
Paul Tonko (@RepPaulTonko) March 06, 2015