By Jamie Zananiri
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released their February 2022 report, so we’re back to take a look at how employment changed over the last month.
The great news: Unemployment is trending back down, now at 3.8% with 678,000 jobs added in February. February’s gains are our tenth month straight of job growth. Per Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, 90% of the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic in 2020 have been recovered. Those who are unemployed but not actively seeking work have dropped to 4.7%, nearing the pre-pandemic rate of 4.3%.
The good news: Every sector saw employment gains this month, led by service industries.
The bad news: Gains, once again, are not benefiting all groups. Black and Hispanic workers trail behind at 6.6% and 4.4% unemployment in those groups. Black women are being largely left behind, at 6.4% unemployment. Wages remain stagnant across all sectors.
Keep in mind: Surveys are conducted mid-month, so they do not take into account the Russian invasion of Ukraine, rising food and energy prices, and other geopolitical ramifications that come with global uncertainty.
Key takeaways: While we may see the return to pre-pandemic employment rates by summer, rising energy costs may drive even more job seekers (and job holders) to pursue remote work to bypass the damage at the pump. Employers who are struggling to hire should be taking a hard look at both their compensation and remote role opportunities, and continue to seek out diverse candidates.