According to the Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate rose for the first time in over a year from 6.6% in January to 6.7% in February. This may be due to continuing layoffs of seasonal workers after the holidays. 175,000 jobs were added in the month of February, and the number of long-term unemployed persons increased by 203,000, accounting for 37.0% of the total unemployed.
Employment in professional and business services rose by 79,000, and within that category temporary help services added 24,000 jobs. This continual rise in temporary services can likely be attributed to the ever-approaching employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act, making temporary help a viable solution for many businesses. Wholesale trade rose by 15,000 with most of those gains being in durable goods (+12,000). Food services and drinking places trended upward by adding 21,000 jobs.
Construction (+15,000), and health care (+10,000) each added some jobs, but made no notable change in employment for the month. Retail trade lost 4,000 jobs in February, and information declined by 16,000 jobs.