Employment Situation News Release

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until               USDL-15-0325
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, March 6, 2015

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- FEBRUARY 2015


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the 
unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today. Job gains occurred in food services and drinking places, 
professional and business services, construction, health care, and in 
transportation and warehousing. Employment in mining was down over the month.

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate (5.5 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (8.7 
million) edged down in February. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number 
of unemployed persons were down by 1.2 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively. 
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers decreased by 1.7 
percentage points to 17.1 percent in February. The jobless rates for adult men (5.2 
percent), adult women (4.9 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (10.4 percent), 
Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little or no change. (See 
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little 
changed at 2.7 million in February. These individuals accounted for 31.1 percent 
of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed 
is down by 1.1 million. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in 
February and has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 to 62.9 percent since 
April 2014. The employment-population ratio was unchanged at 59.3 percent in 
February but is up by 0.5 percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred 
to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in February at 6.6 million. 
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working 
part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to 
find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In February, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, 
little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) 
These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for 
work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not 
counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks 
preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 732,000 discouraged workers in 
February, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally 
adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work 
because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million 
persons marginally attached to the labor force in February had not searched 
for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 
(See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 295,000 in February, compared with 
an average monthly gain of 266,000 over the prior 12 months. Job gains occurred 
in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, 
construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment 
in mining declined over the month. (See table B-1.)

In February, food services and drinking places added 59,000 jobs. The industry 
had added an average of 35,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.

Employment in professional and business services increased by 51,000 in February 
and has risen by 660,000 over the year. In February, employment continued to 
trend up in management and technical consulting services (+7,000), computer 
systems design and related services (+5,000), and architectural and engineering 
services (+5,000).

Construction added 29,000 jobs in February. Employment in specialty trade 
contractors rose by 27,000, mostly in the residential component. Over the past 
12 months, construction has added 321,000 jobs.

In February, employment in health care rose by 24,000, with gains in ambulatory 
care services (+20,000) and hospitals (+9,000). Health care had added an average 
of 29,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.

Transportation and warehousing added 19,000 jobs in February, with most of the 
gain occurring in couriers and messengers (+12,000). Employment in transportation
and warehousing grew by an average of 14,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Employment in retail trade continued to trend up in February (+32,000) and has 
grown by 319,000 over the year.

Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in February (+8,000). Within the 
industry, petroleum and coal products lost 6,000 jobs, largely due to a strike.

Employment in mining decreased by 9,000 in February, with most of the decline in 
support activities for mining (-7,000). 

Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, 
financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

In February, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
was 34.6 hours for the fifth month in a row. The manufacturing workweek was 
unchanged at 41.0 hours in February, and factory overtime edged down by 0.1 hour 
to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on 
private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls 
rose by 3 cents to $24.78. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0
percent. In February, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and 
nonsupervisory employees were unchanged at $20.80. (See tables B-3 and B-8.) 

After revision, the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December 
remained at +329,000, and the change for January was revised from +257,000 to 
+239,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January were 
18,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have 
averaged 288,000 per month.

_____________	
The Employment Situation for March is scheduled to be released on Friday, 
April 3, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).



HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

[Numbers in thousands]
Category Feb.
2014
Dec.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Change from:
Jan.
2015-
Feb.
2015

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

247,085 249,027 249,723 249,899 176

Civilian labor force

155,688 156,129 157,180 157,002 -178

Participation rate

63.0 62.7 62.9 62.8 -0.1

Employed

145,301 147,442 148,201 148,297 96

Employment-population ratio

58.8 59.2 59.3 59.3 0.0

Unemployed

10,387 8,688 8,979 8,705 -274

Unemployment rate

6.7 5.6 5.7 5.5 -0.2

Not in labor force

91,398 92,898 92,544 92,898 354

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

6.7 5.6 5.7 5.5 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

6.3 5.3 5.3 5.2 -0.1

Adult women (20 years and over)

5.9 5.0 5.1 4.9 -0.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

21.3 16.8 18.8 17.1 -1.7

White

5.8 4.8 4.9 4.7 -0.2

Black or African American

12.0 10.4 10.3 10.4 0.1

Asian

5.9 4.2 4.0 4.0 0.0

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

8.1 6.5 6.7 6.6 -0.1

Total, 25 years and over

5.4 4.5 4.6 4.5 -0.1

Less than a high school diploma

9.8 8.6 8.5 8.4 -0.1

High school graduates, no college

6.4 5.3 5.4 5.4 0.0

Some college or associate degree

6.0 4.9 5.2 5.1 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

3.4 2.9 2.8 2.7 -0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

5,403 4,325 4,242 4,180 -62

Job leavers

816 798 851 884 33

Reentrants

2,972 2,701 2,829 2,655 -174

New entrants

1,232 971 1,033 972 -61

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,388 2,375 2,383 2,431 48

5 to 14 weeks

2,558 2,293 2,318 2,223 -95

15 to 26 weeks

1,597 1,274 1,380 1,335 -45

27 weeks and over

3,804 2,785 2,800 2,709 -91

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

7,204 6,790 6,810 6,635 -175

Slack work or business conditions

4,259 4,061 4,012 3,847 -165

Could only find part-time work

2,674 2,432 2,460 2,426 -34

Part time for noneconomic reasons

19,085 19,730 19,822 19,837 15

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

2,303 2,260 2,234 2,159 -

Discouraged workers

755 740 682 732 -

- Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Feb.
2014
Dec.
2014
Jan.
2015(p)
Feb.
2015(p)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

188 329 239 295

Total private

175 319 237 288

Goods-producing

47 64 64 29

Mining and logging

1 1 -6 -8

Construction

26 44 49 29

Manufacturing

20 19 21 8

Durable goods(1)

17 14 16 11

Motor vehicles and parts

12.5 2.2 3.8 0.8

Nondurable goods

3 5 5 -3

Private service-providing

128 255 173 259

Wholesale trade

8.5 14.3 14.0 11.7

Retail trade

-19.1 -0.2 27.8 32.0

Transportation and warehousing

-3.7 38.4 1.0 18.5

Utilities

-0.2 1.8 0.5 0.4

Information

-4 6 5 7

Financial activities

13 7 22 10

Professional and business services(1)

69 72 10 51

Temporary help services

16.9 21.0 -13.8 -7.8

Education and health services(1)

30 54 46 54

Health care and social assistance

19.1 47.5 52.5 32.8

Leisure and hospitality

32 56 39 66

Other services

2 6 7 9

Government

13 10 2 7

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

154 324 330 288

Total private

161 317 323 281

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.4 49.3 49.3 49.3

Total private women employees

47.9 47.9 47.8 47.8

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.6 82.5 82.5 82.5

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.4 34.6 34.6 34.6

Average hourly earnings

$24.30 $24.62 $24.75 $24.78

Average weekly earnings

$835.92 $851.85 $856.35 $857.39

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

99.8 102.7 102.9 103.1

Over-the-month percent change

0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

115.7 120.6 121.5 121.9

Over-the-month percent change

0.5 0.0 0.7 0.3

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (263 industries)

61.8 69.2 62.0 65.4

Manufacturing (80 industries)

55.0 64.4 61.3 64.4

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(p) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2014 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

Frequently Asked Questions about Employment and Unemployment Estimates

1. Why are there two monthly measures of employment?

   The household survey and establishment survey both produce sample-based estimates
   of employment, and both have strengths and limitations. The establishment survey
   employment series has a smaller margin of error on the measurement of month-to-
   month change than the household survey because of its much larger sample size. An
   over-the-month employment change of about 100,000 is statistically significant in
   the establishment survey, while the threshold for a statistically significant change
   in the household survey is about 400,000. However, the household survey has a more
   expansive scope than the establishment survey because it includes self-employed
   workers whose businesses are unincorporated, unpaid family workers, agricultural
   workers, and private household workers, who are excluded by the establishment survey.
   The household survey also provides estimates of employment for demographic groups.
   For more information on the differences between the two surveys, please visit
   www.bls.gov/web/empsit/ces_cps_trends.pdf.

2. Are undocumented immigrants counted in the surveys?

   It is likely that both surveys include at least some undocumented immigrants. However,
   neither the establishment nor the household survey is designed to identify the legal
   status of workers. Therefore, it is not possible to determine how many are counted in
   either survey. The establishment survey does not collect data on the legal status of
   workers. The household survey does include questions which identify the foreign and
   native born, but it does not include questions about the legal status of the foreign
   born. Data on the foreign and native born are published each month in table A-7 of
   The Employment Situation news release.

3. Why does the establishment survey have revisions?

   The establishment survey revises published estimates to improve its data series by
   incorporating additional information that was not available at the time of the
   initial publication of the estimates. The establishment survey revises its initial
   monthly estimates twice, in the immediately succeeding 2 months, to incorporate
   additional sample receipts from respondents in the survey and recalculated seasonal
   adjustment factors. For more information on the monthly revisions, please visit
   www.bls.gov/ces/cesrevinfo.htm.

   On an annual basis, the establishment survey incorporates a benchmark revision that
   re-anchors estimates to nearly complete employment counts available from unemployment
   insurance tax records. The benchmark helps to control for sampling and modeling errors
   in the estimates. For more information on the annual benchmark revision, please visit
   www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart.htm.

4. Does the establishment survey sample include small firms?

   Yes; about 40 percent of the establishment survey sample is comprised of business
   establishments with fewer than 20 employees. The establishment survey sample is
   designed to maximize the reliability of the statewide total nonfarm employment
   estimate; firms from all states, size classes, and industries are appropriately
   sampled to achieve that goal.

5. Does the establishment survey account for employment from new businesses?

   Yes; monthly establishment survey estimates include an adjustment to account for
   the net employment change generated by business births and deaths. The adjustment
   comes from an econometric model that forecasts the monthly net jobs impact of
   business births and deaths based on the actual past values of the net impact that
   can be observed with a lag from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. The
   establishment survey uses modeling rather than sampling for this purpose because
   the survey is not immediately able to bring new businesses into the sample. There
   is an unavoidable lag between the birth of a new firm and its appearance on the
   sampling frame and availability for selection. BLS adds new businesses to the survey
   twice a year.

6. Is the count of unemployed persons limited to just those people receiving unemployment
   insurance benefits?

   No; the estimate of unemployment is based on a monthly sample survey of households.
   All persons who are without jobs and are actively seeking and available to work are
   included among the unemployed. (People on temporary layoff are included even if
   they do not actively seek work.) There is no requirement or question relating to
   unemployment insurance benefits in the monthly survey.

7. Does the official unemployment rate exclude people who want a job but are not currently
   looking for work?

   Yes; however, there are separate estimates of persons outside the labor force who
   want a job, including those who are not currently looking because they believe no
   jobs are available (discouraged workers). In addition, alternative measures of labor
   underutilization (some of which include discouraged workers and other groups not
   officially counted as unemployed) are published each month in table A-15 of The
   Employment Situation news release. For more information about these alternative
   measures, please visit www.bls.gov/cps/lfcharacteristics.htm#altmeasures.

8. How can unusually severe weather affect employment and hours estimates?

   In the establishment survey, the reference period is the pay period that includes
   the 12th of the month. Unusually severe weather is more likely to have an impact on
   average weekly hours than on employment. Average weekly hours are estimated for paid
   time during the pay period, including pay for holidays, sick leave, or other time off.
   The impact of severe weather on hours estimates typically, but not always, results in
   a reduction in average weekly hours. For example, some employees may be off work for
   part of the pay period and not receive pay for the time missed, while some workers,
   such as those dealing with cleanup or repair, may work extra hours.
   
   Typically, it is not possible to precisely quantify the effect of extreme weather on 
   payroll employment estimates. In order for severe weather conditions to reduce
   employment estimates, employees have to be off work without pay for the entire pay
   period. Employees who receive pay for any part of the pay period, even 1 hour, are
   counted in the payroll employment figures. For more information on how often employees
   are paid, please visit www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/how-frequently-do-private-
   businesses-pay-workers.htm.

   In the household survey, the reference period is generally the calendar week that
   includes the 12th of the month. Persons who miss the entire week's work for weather-
   related events are counted as employed whether or not they are paid for the time
   off. The household survey collects data on the number of persons who had a job but
   were not at work due to bad weather. It also provides a measure of the number of
   persons who usually work full time but had reduced hours due to bad weather. 
   Current and historical data are available on the household survey's most requested
   statistics page, please visit http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?ln.



Technical Note


   This news release presents statistics from two major surveys, the Current
Population Survey (CPS; household survey) and the Current Employment Statistics
survey (CES; establishment survey). The household survey provides information
on the labor force, employment, and unemployment that appears in the "A" tables,
marked HOUSEHOLD DATA. It is a sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households
conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

   The establishment survey provides information on employment, hours, and
earnings of employees on nonfarm payrolls; the data appear in the "B" tables,
marked ESTABLISHMENT DATA. BLS collects these data each month from the payroll
records of a sample of nonagricultural business establishments. Each month
the CES program surveys about 143,000 businesses and government agencies,
representing approximately 588,000 individual worksites, in order to provide
detailed industry data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm
payrolls. The active sample includes approximately one-third of all nonfarm
payroll employees.

   For both surveys, the data for a given month relate to a particular week or
pay period. In the household survey, the reference period is generally the
calendar week that contains the 12th day of the month. In the establishment
survey, the reference period is the pay period including the 12th, which may or
may not correspond directly to the calendar week.

Coverage, definitions, and differences between surveys

   Household survey. The sample is selected to reflect the entire civilian 
noninstitutional population. Based on responses to a series of questions on 
work and job search activities, each person 16 years and over in a sample
household is classified as employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force.

   People are classified as employed if they did any work at all as paid employees
during the reference week; worked in their own business, profession, or on their
own farm; or worked without pay at least 15 hours in a family business or farm.
People are also counted as employed if they were temporarily absent from their jobs
because of illness, bad weather, vacation, labor-management disputes, or personal
reasons.

   People are classified as unemployed if they meet all of the following criteria:
they had no employment during the reference week; they were available for work at
that time; and they made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the
4-week period ending with the reference week. Persons laid off from a job and
expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed. The
unemployment data derived from the household survey in no way depend upon the
eligibility for or receipt of unemployment insurance benefits.

   The civilian labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons.
Those persons not classified as employed or unemployed are not in the labor 
force. The unemployment rate is the number unemployed as a percent of the 
labor force. The labor force participation rate is the labor force as a 
percent of the population, and the employment-population ratio is the 
employed as a percent of the population. Additional information about the 
household survey can be found at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm.

   Establishment survey. The sample establishments are drawn from private
nonfarm businesses such as factories, offices, and stores, as well as
from federal, state, and local government entities. Employees on nonfarm
payrolls are those who received pay for any part of the reference pay
period, including persons on paid leave. Persons are counted in each job
they hold. Hours and earnings data are produced for the private sector for
all employees and for production and nonsupervisory employees. Production
and nonsupervisory employees are defined as production and related employees
in manufacturing and mining and logging, construction workers in construction,
and nonsupervisory employees in private service-providing industries.

   Industries are classified on the basis of an establishment’s principal
activity in accordance with the 2012 version of the North American Industry
Classification System. Additional information about the establishment survey
can be found at www.bls.gov/ces/.

   Differences in employment estimates. The numerous conceptual and methodological
differences between the household and establishment  surveys result in important
distinctions in the employment estimates derived from the surveys. Among these are:

   --The household survey includes agricultural workers, self-employed workers
     whose businesses are unincorporated, unpaid family workers, and private
     household workers among the employed. These groups are excluded from the
     establishment survey.

   --The household survey includes people on unpaid leave among the employed.
     The establishment survey does not.

   --The household survey is limited to workers 16 years of age and older.
     The establishment survey is not limited by age.

   --The household survey has no duplication of individuals, because
     individuals are counted only once, even if they hold more than one
     job. In the establishment survey, employees working at more than one
     job and thus appearing on more than one payroll are counted separately
     for each appearance.

Seasonal adjustment

   Over the course of a year, the size of the nation's labor force and the levels
of employment and unemployment undergo regularly occurring fluctuations. These 
events may result from seasonal changes in weather, major holidays, and the opening
and closing of schools. The effect of such seasonal variation can be very large.

   Because these seasonal events follow a more or less regular pattern each year,
their influence on the level of a series can be tempered by adjusting for regular
seasonal variation. These adjustments make nonseasonal developments, such as
declines in employment or increases in the participation of women in the labor
force, easier to spot. For example, in the household survey, the large number of
youth entering the labor force each June is likely to obscure any other changes
that have taken place relative to May, making it difficult to determine if the 
level of economic activity has risen or declined. Similarly, in the establishment
survey, payroll employment in education declines by about 20 percent at the end
of the spring term and later rises with the start of the fall term, obscuring the
underlying employment trends in the industry. Because seasonal employment changes
at the end and beginning of the school year can be estimated, the statistics can be
adjusted to make underlying employment patterns more discernable.  The seasonally
adjusted figures provide a more useful tool with which to analyze changes in
month-to-month economic activity.

   Many seasonally adjusted series are independently adjusted in both the household
and establishment surveys. However, the adjusted series for many major estimates,
such as total payroll employment, employment in most major sectors, total employment,
and unemployment are computed by aggregating independently adjusted component series.
For example, total unemployment is derived by summing the adjusted series for four
major age-sex components; this differs from the unemployment estimate that would be
obtained by directly adjusting the total or by combining
the duration, reasons, or more detailed age categories.

   For both the household and establishment surveys, a concurrent seasonal adjustment
methodology is used in which new seasonal factors are calculated each month using all
relevant data, up to and including the data for the current month. In the household
survey, new seasonal factors are used to adjust only the current month's data. In the
establishment survey, however, new seasonal factors are used each month to adjust the
three most recent monthly estimates. The prior 2 months are routinely revised to
incorporate additional sample reports and recalculated seasonal adjustment factors.
In both surveys, 5-year revisions to historical data are made once a year.

Reliability of the estimates

   Statistics based on the household and establishment surveys are subject to both
sampling and nonsampling error. When a sample, rather than the entire population,
is surveyed, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from the true
population values they represent. The component of this difference that occurs
because samples differ by chance is known as sampling error, and its variability
is measured by the standard error of the estimate. There is about a 90-percent
chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by
no more than 1.6 standard errors from the true population value because of sampling
error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence.

   For example, the confidence interval for the monthly change in total nonfarm
employment from the establishment survey is on the order of plus or minus 105,000.
Suppose the estimate of nonfarm employment increases by 50,000 from one month to
the next. The 90-percent confidence interval on the monthly change would range from
-55,000 to +155,000 (50,000 +/- 105,000). These figures do not mean that the sample
results are off by these magnitudes, but rather that there is about a 90-percent
chance that the true over-the-month change lies within this interval. Since this
range includes values of less than zero, we could not say with confidence that
nonfarm employment had, in fact, increased that month. If, however, the reported
nonfarm employment rise was 250,000, then all of the values within the 90- percent
confidence interval would be greater than zero. In this case, it is likely (at
least a 90-percent chance) that nonfarm employment had, in fact, risen that month.
At an unemployment rate of around 6.0 percent, the 90-percent confidence interval
for the monthly change in unemployment as measured by the household survey is
about +/- 300,000, and for the monthly change in the unemployment rate it is about
+/- 0.2 percentage point.

   In general, estimates involving many individuals or establishments have lower
standard errors (relative to the size of the estimate) than estimates which are based
on a small number of observations. The precision of estimates also is improved when
the data are cumulated over time, such as for quarterly and annual averages.

   The household and establishment surveys are also affected by nonsampling error,
which can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the
population, inability to obtain information for all respondents in the sample,
inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide correct information on a
timely basis, mistakes made by respondents, and errors made in the collection or
processing of the data.

   For example, in the establishment survey, estimates for the most recent 2 months
are based on incomplete returns; for this reason, these estimates are labeled
preliminary in the tables. It is only after two successive revisions to a monthly
estimate, when nearly all sample reports have been received, that the estimate is
considered final.

   Another major source of nonsampling error in the establishment survey is the
inability to capture, on a timely basis, employment generated by new firms. To
correct for this systematic underestimation of employment growth, an estimation
procedure with two components is used to account for business births. The first
component excludes employment losses from business deaths from sample-based
estimation in order to offset the missing employment gains from business births.
This is incorporated into the sample-based estimation procedure by simply not
reflecting sample units going out of business, but imputing to them the same
employment trend as the other firms in the sample. This procedure accounts for
most of the net birth/death employment.

   The second component is an ARIMA time series model designed to estimate the
residual net birth/death employment not accounted for by the imputation. The
historical time series used to create and test the ARIMA model was derived from
the unemployment insurance universe micro- level database, and reflects the actual
residual net of births and deaths over the past 5 years.

   The sample-based estimates from the establishment survey are adjusted once a
year (on a lagged basis) to universe counts of payroll employment obtained from
administrative records of the unemployment insurance program. The difference 
between the March sample-based employment estimates and the March universe counts
is known as a benchmark revision, and serves as a rough proxy for total survey
error. The new benchmarks also incorporate changes in the classification of
industries. Over the past decade, absolute benchmark revisions for total nonfarm
employment have averaged 0.3 percent, with a range from -0.7 to 0.6 percent.

Other information

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired
individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay
Service: (800) 877-8339.



HOUSEHOLD DATA
Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age

[Numbers in thousands]
Employment status, sex, and age Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted(1)
Feb.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Feb.
2014
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014
Dec.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

247,085 249,723 249,899 247,085 248,657 248,844 249,027 249,723 249,899

Civilian labor force

155,027 156,050 156,213 155,688 156,243 156,402 156,129 157,180 157,002

Participation rate

62.7 62.5 62.5 63.0 62.8 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.8

Employed

144,134 146,552 147,118 145,301 147,260 147,331 147,442 148,201 148,297

Employment-population ratio

58.3 58.7 58.9 58.8 59.2 59.2 59.2 59.3 59.3

Unemployed

10,893 9,498 9,095 10,387 8,983 9,071 8,688 8,979 8,705

Unemployment rate

7.0 6.1 5.8 6.7 5.7 5.8 5.6 5.7 5.5

Not in labor force

92,058 93,674 93,686 91,398 92,414 92,442 92,898 92,544 92,898

Persons who currently want a job

6,091 6,467 6,575 6,072 6,545 6,556 6,445 6,358 6,538

Men, 16 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

119,306 120,559 120,647 119,306 120,112 120,208 120,301 120,559 120,647

Civilian labor force

81,954 82,851 83,040 82,566 82,950 82,961 83,210 83,771 83,772

Participation rate

68.7 68.7 68.8 69.2 69.1 69.0 69.2 69.5 69.4

Employed

75,687 77,477 77,824 76,852 78,286 78,084 78,400 78,869 79,006

Employment-population ratio

63.4 64.3 64.5 64.4 65.2 65.0 65.2 65.4 65.5

Unemployed

6,267 5,374 5,216 5,714 4,664 4,877 4,810 4,903 4,766

Unemployment rate

7.6 6.5 6.3 6.9 5.6 5.9 5.8 5.9 5.7

Not in labor force

37,352 37,708 37,607 36,740 37,161 37,247 37,091 36,787 36,875

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

110,838 112,117 112,209 110,838 111,679 111,778 111,875 112,117 112,209

Civilian labor force

79,528 80,179 80,394 79,884 80,023 80,029 80,271 80,804 80,831

Participation rate

71.8 71.5 71.6 72.1 71.7 71.6 71.8 72.1 72.0

Employed

73,882 75,364 75,671 74,820 75,928 75,675 76,026 76,496 76,588

Employment-population ratio

66.7 67.2 67.4 67.5 68.0 67.7 68.0 68.2 68.3

Unemployed

5,645 4,815 4,723 5,064 4,094 4,354 4,245 4,308 4,243

Unemployment rate

7.1 6.0 5.9 6.3 5.1 5.4 5.3 5.3 5.2

Not in labor force

31,310 31,938 31,816 30,954 31,656 31,749 31,603 31,313 31,379

Women, 16 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

127,779 129,165 129,252 127,779 128,545 128,637 128,726 129,165 129,252

Civilian labor force

73,073 73,199 73,173 73,122 73,293 73,442 72,919 73,408 73,230

Participation rate

57.2 56.7 56.6 57.2 57.0 57.1 56.6 56.8 56.7

Employed

68,446 69,075 69,294 68,449 68,974 69,247 69,042 69,332 69,291

Employment-population ratio

53.6 53.5 53.6 53.6 53.7 53.8 53.6 53.7 53.6

Unemployed

4,626 4,124 3,879 4,673 4,318 4,195 3,878 4,076 3,939

Unemployment rate

6.3 5.6 5.3 6.4 5.9 5.7 5.3 5.6 5.4

Not in labor force

54,707 55,966 56,079 54,657 55,253 55,195 55,807 55,756 56,023

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

119,583 120,970 121,060 119,583 120,370 120,465 120,557 120,970 121,060

Civilian labor force

70,493 70,554 70,526 70,323 70,354 70,599 70,111 70,558 70,370

Participation rate

58.9 58.3 58.3 58.8 58.4 58.6 58.2 58.3 58.1

Employed

66,319 66,894 67,058 66,168 66,560 66,894 66,632 66,983 66,901

Employment-population ratio

55.5 55.3 55.4 55.3 55.3 55.5 55.3 55.4 55.3

Unemployed

4,175 3,660 3,468 4,155 3,794 3,705 3,479 3,575 3,469

Unemployment rate

5.9 5.2 4.9 5.9 5.4 5.2 5.0 5.1 4.9

Not in labor force

49,089 50,416 50,534 49,260 50,016 49,866 50,446 50,412 50,690

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian noninstitutional population

16,664 16,636 16,630 16,664 16,608 16,602 16,595 16,636 16,630

Civilian labor force

5,006 5,317 5,293 5,480 5,866 5,775 5,747 5,817 5,801

Participation rate

30.0 32.0 31.8 32.9 35.3 34.8 34.6 35.0 34.9

Employed

3,933 4,294 4,389 4,312 4,772 4,762 4,784 4,722 4,808

Employment-population ratio

23.6 25.8 26.4 25.9 28.7 28.7 28.8 28.4 28.9

Unemployed

1,073 1,023 904 1,168 1,094 1,013 963 1,096 993

Unemployment rate

21.4 19.2 17.1 21.3 18.7 17.5 16.8 18.8 17.1

Not in labor force

11,658 11,320 11,337 11,184 10,742 10,827 10,849 10,819 10,829

Footnotes
(1) The population figures are not adjusted for seasonal variation; therefore, identical numbers appear in the unadjusted and seasonally adjusted columns.

NOTE: Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age

[Numbers in thousands]
Employment status, race, sex, and age Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted(1)
Feb.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015
Feb.
2014
Oct.
2014
Nov.
2014
Dec.
2014
Jan.
2015
Feb.
2015

WHITE

Civilian noninstitutional population

195,029 196,307 196,392 195,029 195,896 195,995 196,091 196,307 196,392

Civilian labor force

122,928 123,199 123,224 123,554 123,287 123,391 123,058 124,119 123,875

Participation rate

63.0 62.8 62.7 63.4 62.9 63.0 62.8 63.2 63.1

Employed

115,312 116,637 116,944 116,425 117,300 117,307 117,186 118,035 117,992

Employment-population ratio

59.1 59.4 59.5 59.7 59.9 59.9 59.8 60.1 60.1

Unemployed

7,616 6,562 6,279 7,130 5,987 6,084 5,872 6,084 5,883

Unemployment rate

6.2 5.3 5.1 5.8 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.9 4.7

Not in labor force

72,101 73,109 73,169 71,474 72,609 72,604 73,033 72,189 72,517

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

64,185 64,377 64,559 64,531 64,234 64,339 64,392 64,871 64,920

Participation rate

72.2 71.9 72.0 72.6 71.8 71.9 71.9 72.4 72.4

Employed

60,178 61,016 61,228 61,013 61,507 61,388 61,551 61,953 62,015

Employment-population ratio

67.7 68.1 68.3 68.6 68.8 68.6 68.8 69.2 69.2

Unemployed

4,008 3,361 3,330 3,518 2,727 2,951 2,842 2,918 2,906

Unemployment rate

6.2 5.2 5.2 5.5 4.2 4.6 4.4 4.5 4.5

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

54,709 54,635 54,499 54,615 54,452 54,587 54,223 54,683 54,401

Participation rate

58.4 57.9 57.7 58.3 57.9 58.0 57.5 57.9 57.6

Employed

51,866 52,140 52,186 51,815 51,945 52,142 51,824 52,267 52,105

Employment-population ratio

55.4 55.2 55.3 55.3 55.2 55.4 55.0 55.4 55.2

Unemployed

2,843 2,495 2,312 2,800 2,507 2,445 2,399 2,416 2,296

Unemployment rate

5.2 4.6 4.2 5.1 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.4 4.2

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian labor force

4,033 4,186 4,166 4,408 4,601 4,466 4,443 4,565 4,554

Participation rate

32.5 33.9 33.8 35.5 37.2 36.2 36.0 37.0 36.9

Employed

3,268 3,481 3,529 3,596 3,848 3,777 3,811 3,814 3,872

Employment-population ratio

26.3 28.2 28.6 29.0 31.1 30.6 30.9 30.9 31.4

Unemployed

765 706 637 812 753 689 632 751 682

Unemployment rate

19.0 16.9 15.3 18.4 16.4 15.4 14.2 16.4 15.0

BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN

Civilian noninstitutional population

30,685 31,188 31,222 30,685 30,969 31,005 31,040 31,188 31,222

Civilian labor force

18,591 18,895 18,941 18,723 19,024 19,056 19,037 19,040 19,101

Participation rate

60.6 60.6 60.7 61.0 61.4 61.5 61.3 61.0 61.2

Employed

16,351 16,877 16,975 16,486 16,953 16,957 17,050 17,071 17,122

Employment-population ratio

53.3 54.1 54.4 53.7 54.7 54.7 54.9 54.7 54.8

Unemploy