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Nonfarm payroll employment was up by 66,000 in February, seasonally adjusted, following several months of large job losses.
While the over-the-month change was positive for the first time since July 2001, much of the gain was due to special circumstances. Unusual seasonal employment patterns in retail trade, favorable weather for construction, and a return from temporary plant shutdowns in motor vehicle manufacturing were important components of the February change.
Retail trade employment rose by 58,000 in February, after seasonal adjustment. This followed a rise of 41,000 in January. Because of light hiring during the holiday season, there were fewer workers to lay off in January and February, resulting in over-the-month gains after seasonal adjustment.
Construction employment increased by 25,000 in February, reflecting unusually warm temperatures and dry weather across the country.
Motor vehicle employment rose by 26,000, as most of the plants that had been temporarily shut down in January to reduce inventories were operating in February.
Payroll employment data are products of the Current Employment Statistics program. Data for January and February 2002 are preliminary and subject to revision. For more information, see The Employment Situation: February 2002, news release USDL 02-124.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Payroll employment up in February at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2002/mar/wk2/art01.htm (visited March 29, 2023).