February’s jobs report should have job seekers feeling lucky

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report, 313,000 jobs were created last month. See which industries saw the most job growth.

February’s jobs report should have job seekers feeling lucky

February 2018 BLS Employment Situation

Rainbows, horseshoes, four-leaf clovers—while these are all considered good luck charms, job seekers may have another reason to feel lucky: the latest installment of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly jobs report. Think of it like a lucky leprechaun, leading you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or, in this case, leading you to gainful employment at the end of your job search.

According to the report, 313,000 jobs were created in February, well above economists’ predictions of about 205,000. This is the largest monthly increase to jobs since July 2016, and economists chalk it up to the unseasonably warm weather and light snowfall.

The most job growth occurred in construction, retail, business and professional services, manufacturing, financial activities, health care, and mining.

Within construction, employment continued to build, increasing by 61,000 in February. The most gains were seen in specialty trade contractors (+38,000) and construction of buildings (+16,000). Over the past four months alone, this sector has added 185,000 jobs.

After appearing to go into hibernation on the monthly reports, employment in retail finally shot up by 50,000 jobs over the month. Within the industry, gains were made in general merchandise stores (+18,000), clothing and accessories stores (+15,000), and building material and garden supply stores (+10,000).

This jibes with the latest edition of the Monster 100—our weekly roundup of companies with the most new job listings on Monster—including Walgreens, Jos. A. Bank, and Yankee Candle.

A mainstay sector on the monthly reports, business and professional services also saw an increase of 50,000 jobs in February, mostly for temporary positions (+27,000).

Employment in manufacturing  rose by 31,000, primarily in transportation equipment (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+6,000), machinery (+6,000), and primary metals (+4,000). On the Monster 100, you can check out jobs in this industry at Ford Motor Company.

Financial activities made gains of 28,000 jobs last month. Credit intermediation (+8,000); insurance carriers (+8,000); and securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+5,000) experienced the most job growth within this industry. To name a few companies hiring on the Monster 100, look to Prudential Insurance, Provident Financial, and First Convenience Bank.

Health care, another reliable sector for job growth, added 19,000 jobs, with a gain of 9,000 jobs in hospitals. Kindred at Home, Kindred Healthcare, and RehabCare all cracked the top five on the Monster 100.

Mining jobs ticked up by 9,000 in February, with the majority occurring in support activities for mining (+7,000).

Your paycheck is getting a little extra gold, too, as average hourly wages increased by 4 cents, now totaling $26.75.

For the fifth consecutive month, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%.

Additionally, January’s original job numbers were revised up from 200,000 to 239,000, while December’s numbers changed from 160,000 to 175,000. After these revisions, job gains have averaged 242,000 over the last three months.

March’s jobs report comes out Friday, April 6 at 8:30 a.m. EST. In the meantime, you can join Monster for free today and get everything from job alerts to personalized career advice sent right to your inbox.