Job Growth of 273,000 in February Exceeds All Expectations - Spherion Ohio

Job Growth of 273,000 in February Exceeds All Expectations

March 01, 2020
Unemployment Ticks Down Again
JOB GROWTH: February job growth exceeded even the most optimistic expectations, reaching 273,000 new jobs. This level of activity was actually on par with upwardly revised numbers for January, which were initially reported as 225,000. Revisions to both the January and December figures raised the job creation totals for the combined two-month period by 85,000, bringing average job gains over the most recent three-month period to 243,000.

TOP INDUSTRIES: Job creation was particularly brisk in healthcare and hospitality in February, with solid gains also reported in government, construction and professional services. Manufacturing improved but transportation/warehousing took a hit in comparison to the prior month.

UNEMPLOYMENT: For the past six months, the unemployment rate has been dancing back and forth from 3.5% to 3.6%. In February, it continued that familiar rhythm when it returned to the lower rate of 3.5%.

WAGES: Wage growth continued to trend upward in February, with average hourly earnings over the past 12 months at 3.0%.

WORK WEEK: The work week got a bit longer in February, with average hours clocked at 34.4.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? When viewed in isolation, February was a great month for job growth. For a long time, detractors have warned about an approaching downturn that simply has not materialized. They’ve said tradition dictates that a decade-long expansion cannot continue, but it has. During uncertain times though, many employers will take a wait-and-see approach. The most optimistic, however, will take advantage of this pocket of opportunity, because no matter what happens, the best talent will always be in short supply.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Steinberg Employment Research, FOX News, Staffing Industry Analysts, NBC News, PBS News Hour, CNN Business, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report

Diversity Matters
There was a time when diversity was viewed as a corporate program rather than a corporate strategy, but those days are long past for most employers. Diversity may still offer a snapshot of the workforce in all its many facets, but when coupled with inclusion, it provides an action agenda for ensuring all those diverse elements feel empowered to contribute at optimal levels.

In the Emerging Workforce® Study, sponsored by Spherion, it is apparent that both employers and employees understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in recruiting and retention. Nearly two-thirds of all workers and more than three-quarters of younger workers consider the composition of the workforce a significant factor in their desire to work for a company. Younger workers tend to place even greater value on a workplace that fully embraces diversity and inclusion, especially in terms of collaboration, growth and development, learning and competitiveness. Do employers agree? They actually have even stronger feelings about diversity and inclusion:

  • 93% say a diverse and inclusive workplace allows us all to grow and learn more effectively
  • 86% say hiring employees from diverse backgrounds is essential for my company’s continued success
  • 76% say as our customer base becomes more global and diverse, we need to improve diversity and inclusion to remain competitive

Those in Corporate America who once viewed diversity as little more than a special cultural program are long retired. Today, most employers recognize diversity as essential to overall business success. They’ve seen the hard evidence from multiple studies that show the positive impact of diversity and inclusion on collaboration, innovation, performance and customer loyalty. They get it. Diversity matters. What may not be as clear is how to harness the power of a strong diversity and inclusion strategy to advance their organizations.

Our upcoming webinar can change that. Join Certified Diversity Professional Floss Aggrey on Thursday, April 9 at 12 Noon EST for Building Diverse & Inclusive Environments for Employee Retention. Register here:

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