The editorial reports:
If you’re looking for good news in the latest jobs numbers, it’s hard to know where to start.
First, 313,000 was 50,000 more than expected, and is the biggest monthly gain in jobs in a year and a half.
Better still, these employment gains were across the board. In fact, almost a third of the increase was in goods-producing industries, which climbed at a rate more than twice as fast as the overall job market.
The only part of the economy that didn’t grow was government, which can also be seen as good news. The federal workforce, in fact, dropped in February, and is now 14,000 lower than when Trump took office
At 4.1%, the overall unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, while the unemployment rates among blacks and Hispanics remain at historic lows.
But the employment numbers also show why, despite these strong gains, the economy is still far from “full employment.”
The article further reports that 653,000 people rejoined the labor force in February. That is really good news.
The editorial also notes the change in the workforce participation levels:
As a result, the employment-to-population ratio climbed to 60.4% in February. That’s higher than it ever got during Obama’s eight years in office. Better still, the employment-to-population ratio among those of prime working age jumped to 79.3%, its highest level in almost a decade.
And the labor force participation rate — the share of people looking or who have jobs — is now up to 63%, after having fallen steadily during Obama’s years (it went from 65.7% when he took office to 62.7% when he left).
There are still 5.1 million Americans not in the labor force. Hopefully as the economy improves and the regulations on food stamps and welfare programs tighten, they will be able to find jobs.