U.S. unemployment rate holds steady in February

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.7 percent in February as employers cut 36,000 jobs. Analysts were expecting the unemployment rate to increase to 9.8 percent and employers to cut 50,000 jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised December 2009 and January data. The economy lost 26,000 jobs instead of 20,000 jobs in January; however, the economy shed 109,000 jobs instead of the 150,000 previously reported in December 2009.

In February, construction companies cut 64,000 jobs; the information industry cut 18,000 jobs; and manufacturing and retail were unchanged. Temporary help services gained 48,000 jobs; the federal government added 15,000 jobs; and leisure and hospitality gained 7,000 jobs.

The number of long-term unemployed—those out of work for six months or longer—fell for the first time since November 2008, dropping from 6.3 million to 6.1 million.

About 14.9 million Americans currently are unemployed. The economy has eliminated 8.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007.

Date : 3/8/2010