February 2020 Jobs Report

February 2020 Jobs Report: Expectations Destroyed with +273,000 Jobs

The February 2020 Jobs Report is in, and the results blew away economists’ predictions. In February, the U.S. economy added 273,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate dipped back down to 3.5%. However, average hourly earnings have seen stagnant growth over the last few months, with a 3% growth in February. Overall, the labor market is holding steady as we make our way through 2020.

Here is an overview of the February 2020 Jobs Report

The U.S. economy had a huge hiring push with 273,000 jobs, blowing away economists’ estimates of 173,000 job gains. As a result of this hiring spark over the last two months, the unemployment rate nudged back down to a 50-year low of 3.5%.

In addition to February’s impressive gains, the BLS reported substantial revisions over the last two months. In December, job gains were revised up from 147,000 to 184,000 jobs (an increase of 37,000). And in January, revisions saw an increase of +47,000 jobs, from 225,000 to 273,000 jobs. So, over the last two months, job additions were 85,000 higher than previously reported. After revisions, job gains have averaged an impressive 243,000 per month over the previous three months.

Impact of Coronavirus

This growth is remarkable because, in 2019, average monthly job gains were 178,000. As you can see, 2020 hiring is off to a strong start, and there are no signs of it slowing down as we approach the end of the First Quarter. However, despite this strong growth, many are still worried about the impact of the Coronavirus on hiring. It will be interesting to see how COVID-19 effects hiring going forward as the outbreak continues to develop. The damage is insignificant thus far, but this virus may change how employers hire and make an impact on the hiring strategies of some employers, such as moving interviews to a virtual format.

In February, job gains were widespread in a handful of different industries. Here is a brief breakdown of gains by industry:

Job gains by industry

  • Healthcare: +32,000 (+368,000 jobs over last 12 months)
    • Physician Offices: +10,000
    • Home Healthcare Services +10,00
    • Hospitals: +8,000
  • Social Assistance: +25,000 (+191,000 jobs over last 12 months)
  • Food Services and Drinking Places: +53,000 (+252,000 jobs over the last 7 months)
  • Government: +45,000
    • State Government Education: +16,000
    • Federal Employment: +8,000
  • Construction: +42,000
    • Specialty Trade Contractors: +26,000
    • Residential Building: +10,000
  • Professional and Technical Services: +32,000 (+285,000 jobs over the last 12 months)
    • Architectural and Engineering Services: +10,000
    • Scientific Research and Development: +5,000
    • Computer System Design: +8,000
  • Financial Activities: 26,000 (+160,000 jobs over last 12 months)
    • Real Estate: +8,000
    • Credit Intermediation: +6,000

Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and information, changed little over the month.

Avoid the hiring madness by partnering with a professional

As you can see, the market is hot in the first two months of 2020. With March well underway, the hiring madness is only going to climb as we quickly approach the end of Q1. If you want to get ahead of the competition, and secure the talent you need to achieve your growth goals, partner with one of our recruiters today. We have a team of recruiters ready to make an immediate impact on your organization’s production. Reach out to us, and let’s start sourcing some talent together!