Payrolls Decline Again in February

By Toni Vranjes

March 5, 2010

The unemployment rate stayed at 9.7 percent in February, while payrolls continued to drop, the Labor Department reported today.

Employment fell by 36,000 last month, according to the report. The department’s revised figures show that the economy lost 26,000 jobs in January.

Bad weather may have affected the February numbers.

“Payroll employment declined by 36,000, slightly more than last month,” Christina Romer, chair of President Obama‚Äôs Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a blog post.

“However, as many analysts have discussed in recent weeks, the large snowstorms in the Mid-Atlantic region in mid-February likely had a substantial negative impact on this number,” she added. “Someone who has a job but missed the entire pay period that included the 12th of the month because of the weather, and so did not receive a paycheck, is not counted as being on the payroll.”

In February, payrolls in the construction industry fell by 64,000, and employment in the information industry dropped by 18,000.

Meanwhile, some sectors grew. The economy created 48,000 temporary jobs, and health-care employment increased by 12,000. Manufacturing added 1,000 jobs.

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