February proves to be a good month in business as payrolls increase
February saw a slight uptick in private payrolls
This past February, private payrolls in the U.S. rose by 183,000. This follows January’s number of 300,000, which was 85,000 more than analysts had anticipated. The numbers are indicative of positive employment growth and are getting 2019 off to a great start.
Since last December, there has been an average of 240,000 non-farm payroll additions each month. Last month, the biggest gains were seen in the business and professional services sector, which added 49,000 jobs. Health services and education followed with 39,000 and construction saw 25,000 more jobs than a month before.
Jobs in the service industry accounted for 139,000 new employees and goods producers reported an uptick of 44,000 new jobs. Those companies that employ between 50-499 employees – referred to as midsize companies – registered the most growth, adding 95,000 new employees. This was 18,000 more than what was registered by large businesses. Overall, midsize companies generated the most new positions in the past 12 months. Small businesses saw their numbers increase by around 12,000.
While the numbers increased, they weren’t quite to the level many analysts had previously expected. The chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, Mark Zandi, asserts, “The economy has throttled back, and so too has job growth. Job gains are still strong, but they have likely seen their highest watermark for this expansion.”
Across the U.S., employment has been sliding downward over the past several months. The most recent reports indicate a national unemployment rate of about 4%, the lowest figure seen in the past two years.