WPA Mural, 'Industries of California' by Ralph Stackpole. Coit Tower, San Francisco. Photo: 'Ssdugan,' Creative Commons license 1.0

The Biden Economy continues to hum along, as demonstrated by the monthly jobs report for February from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It may be the shortest month, but February saw the creation of 678,000 new jobs, the biggest one-month jobs gain since the 678,000 new jobs in July 2021. The unemployment rate dipped down to 3.8 percent, from 4 percent in January — and as BLS points out, that's getting very close to where unemployment was prior to the pandemic, when February 2020's unemployment was 3.5 percent.

All told, 6.3 million Americans are unemployed, compared to the 5.7 million who were unemployed prior to the pandemic. The US economy is still about 2 million jobs short of the total number it lost since the start of the pandemic.

February job gains shot way past economists' forecasts, which had predicted a gain of 440,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. If you're keeping track, this is the second month in a row that job growth was better than expected.

Read More: Hey, Look At The 467,000 New Jobs In January! Thanks A Lot, Biden!

Also too, as CNBC highlights,

In a sign that inflation could be cooling, wages barely rose for the month, up just 1 cent an hour or 0.03%, compared to estimates for a 0.5% gain.

That said, a word of caution, too: The New York Times points out that February's jobs and payroll data were sampled prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which led to big disruptions in the stock markets and increases in oil prices. That might or might not mean the jobs numbers could be revised downward when more data are available:

Analysts say the United States is less vulnerable than Europe to the economic effects of the crisis, but warn that a prolonged conflict will have global repercussions that are hard to predict.

As we like to remind you, the BLS survey system is designed really well to measure gradual changes in employment and wages, but the initial monthly numbers aren't so great at reflecting huge changes in the economy, like the big job losses at the start of the pandemic and the surges in hiring as the economy has recovered. So keep an eye out for revisions.

Read More: Bureau Of Labor Statistics Had One Job. Is That Job One Or 19 Jobs?

All in all, though, the February report seems to reflect what should be very good news and for America, and politically, for Joe Biden:

So far, at least, the labor market recovery has overcome every obstacle. Job openings are near a record high. Layoffs are at a new low. And hiring has remained strong in the ebb and flow of successive waves of the pandemic — employers have added at least 400,000 jobs every month since May, the longest such streak on record.

“This is an economy that has learned to manage very well through uncertainty,” said Robert Rosener, senior U.S. economist with Morgan Stanley. “We’ve continually been surprised by the resilience of the U.S. labor market.”

And as Joe Biden reminded us Tuesday in his State of the Union address, 6.5 million jobs in 2021 was a hell of a good thing, the best job growth since the government started keeping records in 1939. And as we like to remind you, Democrats' pandemic recovery assistance, in the form of the American Rescue Plan, was a central part of the strong recovery.

The Times also points out that significant numbers of workers appear to be hesitant to return to work, either because they're concerned about the pandemic, which is slowing but still very much with us, because they can't find childcare, or even because some folks have decided capitalism is a mug's game and they've found other ways to get by. (And let's not forget that a lot of older workers decided to retire as well.) As a result, some employers are still saying they have job openings going unfilled.

But there are signs those challenges may be easing. The labor force grew by more than 300,000 workers in February, and average hours worked rose, as more people looked for jobs and fewer people called in sick. [...]

Strong hiring in February, combined with the steady decline in new coronavirus cases, has made some forecasters optimistic that the economy is on a path back to something resembling normal. States have lifted mask mandates, and companies are again trying to attract workers back to the office. That could bring economic dividends, as workers return to central business districts.

The percentage of people working from home was down in February, too, to 13 percent, from 15.4 percent in January; in the early months of the pandemic, that share of workers got as high as 35 percent. So as people return to offices, that's likely to mean better performance for coffee shops, restaurants, and all the places people go to get the hell away from the office.

Here at Wonkette, of course, we'll continue to work from home, because we like it, and darned if anyone's going to make us put on pants if we don't want to.

President Biden is scheduled to give an update on his "Made in America" pledge right about now, and we're pretty sure the strong jobs report will be part of that sucker. Let's watch!

[Bureau of Labor Statistics / CNBC / NYT / Photo: 'Ssdugan,' Creative Commons License 1.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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