Department of Labor

WASHINGTON, DC—Employment increased by 175,000 in February, and the unemployment rate ticked up one percentage point to 6.7%, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning.

Sectors that benefited the most were professional and business services and wholesale trade, while information jobs declined.

The number of jobs created surpassed expectations, which, admittedly, have fallen low after back-to-back employment reports that disappointed. Job growth has been averaging 189,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

The breakdown of jobs created included 79,000 in professional and business services and 16,000 in accounting and bookkeeping services.

Employment continued to trend up in temporary help services, at 24,000, and in services to buildings and dwellings, which posted some 11,000 new positions.

Over the prior 12 months, professional and business services added an average of 56,000 jobs per month.

Whole trade added 15,000 jobs for February, with nearly all of the increase occurring in durable goods, at 12,000. Over the prior 12 months, the employment gain in wholesale trade averaged 9,000 per month.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up as well in February, at 21,000. Over the prior 12 months, this industry added an average of 27,000 jobs per month.

Construction jobs, however, showed little sign of growth, adding only 15,000 jobs. Over the past year, construction has added 152,000 jobs. Within the industry, employment in heavy and civil engineering construction rose by 12,000 in February.

Please come back to read our analysis of what these numbers mean for the commercial real estate industry.