February Job Report and January Job Opening and Turnover Survey

Released just this morning, February’s Job Report and January’s Job Opening Survey have shown some surprising insights into the current labor market.  In February, the U.S. economy added 275,000 new Nonfarm payroll jobs.  With the head of the Federal Reserve trying to mitigate fears of an interest rate hike (stating that the first hike of the year wouldn’t come before June, at the earliest), the stock market has met this news, and the report itself, with up and down trading.  January’s job opening report saw the number of open jobs decreased, minimally, to 8.9 million.  Unemployment, in a shocking turn, increased slightly to 3.9% from 3.7% in January.  This means that instead of 6.3 million unemployed people in the U.S., that number is hovering around 6.5 million.  Focusing on Transportation and Warehouse jobs, openings for this industry increased over the last month.  More on this below!

January's Job Opening and Turnover Survey

At the end of January, job openings decreased slightly, falling to 8.9 million openings.  Hires did end up decreasing for state and local government jobs, but there were not many other revisions to December’s numbers.  However, with the release of revised numbers for January, we can see that last month’s huge gain of over 350,000 jobs was actually only 229,000 jobs.  Some experts are reporting that the large revisions indicate the Federal Reserve is having difficulty gauging the economy correctly.  Everyone, including the LZBlog team, will be monitoring these revisions more closely for the foreseeable future.

The quit rate and the number of layoffs both stayed roughly the same at 3.4 million and 1.6 million, respectively. 

February's Jobs Report

For the month of February, Non-farm payrolls grew by 275,000.  With experts only predicting about 200,000 new jobs, these numbers do come as a surprise to many.  Another shocking development was the sudden spike in the unemployment rate.  Jumping up to 3.9%, there are many theories as to why this has occurred, with the most prevalent being that this increase is spurred by a rise in the retirement of Baby Boomers.  The labor force participation rate, however, remained about the same at 62.5%. 

Getting further into 2024, the Healthcare industry saw the largest increases in the number of jobs, adding a whopping 67,000 for February.  They have been trending up over the past year, averaging roughly 50,000 new jobs a month.  Transportation and Warehousing jobs increased overall by 20,000, with growth occurring within in the courier (17,000 jobs) and air transportation fields (4,000 jobs).  Meanwhile, Warehousing and Storage lost 7,000 jobs.  Retail trade employment increased by 19,000, which has made experts look more closely into their stagnating numbers.  With net gains staying minimal over the past twelve months, it will be important to keep an eye on Retail numbers and what they mean as consumers still struggle with inflation.


The February Jobs Report and the January Job Opening and Turnover Survey came in with a big surprise as it pertained to the unemployment numbers.  With that rate climbing, experts are watching it and the Federal Reserve carefully.  Today, per the “new normal,” these numbers are bringing mixed reactions to the stock market, but, so far, they are trending upward.  With the Federal Reserve testifying before Congress this week that they are not raising interest rates in the near future, it will be interesting to see how the coming months will proceed.  Stay tuned to the LZ Blog and our Lionzone social media to see!

Are you still looking for the right employees for your company?  Finding the right candidates may seem daunting, but, with the right recruitment marketing team on your side, you can be successful!  Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing, and Employee Retention can all be handled by the experts at LZRecruit!  Do you need assistance meeting your retention goals?  Contact the LZRecruit Network today!  Lower your Cost Per Lead and Time to Hire.  We offer 100% direct leads.  For more information on the LZRecruit Network, contact us at 615-928-2540, or check us out at LZRecruit.com.


Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone.  A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.





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