Data released by the U.S. government Friday morning shows the national unemployment rate for February at 7.7%, down from 7.9% in January.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, as employment increased in professional and business services, construction and health care.
In the construction arena, employment increased by 48,000.
Since September, construction employment has risen by 151,000. In the latest month’s figures, job growth was somewhat equally split between residential (+17,000) and nonresidential specialty trade contractors (+15,000).
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from +196,000 to +219,000, and the change for January was revised from +157,000 to +119,000.