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U.S. temporary help payrolls rose by 15,500 in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. There were more than 2.2 million jobs in temporary help services in February.
February's gain of 15,500 temporary jobs compares to a loss of 4,900 temporary jobs in January -- which had been revised down from a loss of 11,400 initially reported last month.
The temporary penetration rate in February rose to 1.70 percent from 1.69 percent in January.
The employment services category added 29,000 jobs in February to a total of almost 2.9 million jobs. The employment services category includes temporary help services as well as employment placement agencies, executive search services and professional employer organizations.
Overall, total nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 in February -- a larger increase than the 63,000 jobs added in January, according to revised numbers.
In addition, the U.S. unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in February, little changed from 9.0 percent in January. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, rose to 4.3 percent in February from 4.2 percent in January.
The private sector added 222,000 jobs in February and the government sector lost jobs with local government shedding 18,000 positions and state governments losing 12,000. Much of those losses were in education. Slight gains in at the federal level were mostly offset by losses in the U.S. Postal Service. Total government job losses were 30,000 in February. Local government is down 377,000 from its peak in September 2008.
Construction gained 33,000 jobs in February, and manufacturing also gained 33,000. Overall, the goods-producing sector gained 70,000 jobs, less than half of the 152,000 jobs gained in the service-sector.
Healthcare added 34,300 jobs in February.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls in February was unchanged from January at 34.2 hours.