February 2009 Jobs Report and Wages

Here are the job market and compensation numbers for February 2009 (based on the job report):

loss of 651,000 jobs in the month
(revised to a loss of 655,000, revised to a final loss of 726,000)

  • Analysts expected a loss of 650,000
  • Fourteen straight months of job losses
    • 4.4 million jobs lost in 2008
      • That is approximately the size of the workforce in NC, MI, and GA
    • Almost 2 million jobs lost in the last three months
  • December was revised to loss of 681,000 jobs (revised to a loss of 673,000)
  • January was revised to a loss of 655,000 jobs (revised again to a loss of 741,000, revised to a final loss of 779,000)
  • With revisions counted the economy has averaged a monthly loss of 646,000 jobs
  • Long term unemployed increased by 270,000 to 2.9 million persons
  • For every job opening, there are four times as many people unemployed

Unemployment rate rose to 8.1%

  • Analysts predicted a rise to 7.9%
  • A 3.2% drop since the increase started
  • Underemployment is now at 14.8%
  • From 13.9% last month (an increase of 0.9% in one month!)
    • 23.1 million people are estimated to be out of a job or working a part time job involuntarily
  • Long term unemployed, the percentage of those who don’t have jobs, is at 23.1%

Specific Segment Job numbers:

  • Manufacturing lost 168,000 jobs
  • Construction lost 104,000 jobs
  • Retailers lost 40,000
  • Temporary Work lost 78,000 jobs
  • Leisure and Hospitality Services lost 33,000 jobs
  • Government sector added 9,000
  • Health care grew by 27,000 jobs


  • The average weekly paycheck is $617.72 (seasonally adjusted to $615.05
    • An increase of almost $10
    • Productivity was way down 0.4% as well (productivity often improves during increased unemployment)
  • The average hourly work week stayed at 33.3 for the third straight month

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Report Stats Summary


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