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Temporary employment increases in February

Posted on March 10th, 2014 Read time: 2 minutes

Despite the unemployment rate rising, the temporary staffing industry increased employment in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. added 24,400 temporary workers to payrolls in February, which increased the temporary penetration rate – temporary jobs compared to total nonfarm employment – to 2.03 percent in February from January's figure of 2.02 percent.

February's temporary penetration rate figure is the highest mark since April 2000. December 2013 originally had a rate of 2.06, but that was revised in January 2014. Since February 2013, there have been 227,700 temporary worker positions added, an 8.9 percent year-over-year jump.

Along with the temporary employment industry, nonfarm employment – total number of paid workers in the U.S. – also reported increases over the past month. In February, U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs, which is more than the predicted 150,000, according to Forbes. Joseph Lake, U.S. analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, said in an interview with Forbes he is pleasantly surprised about the past month's job growth.

"The U.S. has suffered from unusually bad weather in recent months, which has contributed to a recent slowdown in the labor market," Lake said. "The acceleration in job growth in February suggests that, despite this recent softening, the U.S. is continuing to make slow, fitful progress as it recovers from the worst recession since the Great Depression."

Even though new jobs were added in February, the unemployment rate increased slightly. The rate came in at 6.7 percent in February, a jump from January's mark of 6.6 percent. Although an increase in the unemployment rate may have some worried, average job growth throughout the country is signaling prosperous times ahead. January's employment numbers had a revised increase of 16,000 to stand at 129,000 jobs added and over the past 12 months, the average monthly job growth was at 189,000.

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