The number of jobs added to the U.S. payrolls in February exceeded expectations thanks to a sharp recovery in restaurant and food service hires that toiled through the winter.
The Labor Department reported on Friday that total employment in non-farming increased by 379 000 in February 2021 as businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector hired workers en masse. The unemployment rate decreased to 6.2%.
The increase in total wage employment was better than the net profit of 210,000 predicted by economists polled by Dow Jones.
OilGasJobz studied the net changes per sector for February jobs based on the information contained in the employment report.
The battered leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels, museums, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks, achieved by far the largest net profit for the month, with 355,000 jobs. Although renting galleries and casinos rented a bit, food service contributed the vast majority of the profits with a net rent of 285,900.
This sub-industry, which includes waiters, chefs and bartenders, has seen some of the most volatile job changes over the past twelve months as Covid-19 and attempts to close its scattered eateries, shut down atypical eating protocols, accept or fire workers.
A waiter is wearing a face mask at a restaurant on the Upper West Side as the city continues reopening efforts following restrictions imposed to delay the spread of coronavirus on November 10, 2020 in New York.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
While the introduction of coronavirus vaccines was accelerating and warmer weather was underway, some economists said the jobs report in February was enough to make them feel more optimistic about the orbit of the US economy.
“Today’s job report hurt expectations. It was a welcome change in the events for a repressed labor market when we began to put a controlled economy at the helm and reopen it.” Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management, wrote in an email.
“Looking ahead, it seems that the ship is headed in the right direction and that the extra stimulus from Congress must be the wind in the sails to get the economy back on track,” he added.
Yet many people have remarked that the labor market still has a long way to go before it reaches the same job numbers as before the Covid-19 recession.
And despite all the strength seen at restaurants and bars over the past month, other industries have seen very modest numbers or even declines. For example, government and construction lost 86,000 and 6,000 net positions, respectively.
Although both numbers are expected to bounce back as the economy recovers – making better construction possible again – Daniel Zhao, an economist at Glassdoor, writes that for the rest of 2021 the economy will have to add almost 1 million jobs a month to return to pre-crisis levels. by the end of the year.
“The pace of recovery is a major point at this stage in the pandemic, but is not entirely out of the question if the economy can reopen safely and fully,” he wrote on Friday morning. “While the pace of the February report will be seen as the above-average pre-pandemic, it feels appalled by the deep hole of 9.5 million jobs that remain at the center of the economy.”
Elsewhere, the production added 21,000 jobs and the retailer made a profit of 41,100. Healthcare and social assistance cut 45,600 and professional and business services rose by 63,000.
– OilGasJobz’s Nate Rattner reported.