February’s Jobs Report Showed an Increase in Number of Jobs
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the February Jobs Report, which displayed an increase of 678,000 nonfarm payroll jobs.
- The high increase in available jobs indicates the economy is slowly returning to its pre-pandemic days.
- However, these numbers were recorded before the Russia-Ukraine war, and the Eastern European conflict could potentially result in job growth slowing down.
In a seasonally adjusted job report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was found that 678,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added to the labor market in February 2022. The rise in the number of jobs available caused the unemployment rate to drop to 3.8 percent, down from 6.2 percent in February 2021. As the unemployment rate continues to decline and more people can find jobs, it indicates the economy is slowly beginning to return to its pre-pandemic levels.
What Caused the Growth in the Number of Jobs
Since May 2021, a minimum of 400,000 jobs have been added to the economy, totaling the number of positions available to workers surpassing millions of jobs. The cause of growth in jobs was due to the economy slowly opening up.
The pandemic caused many businesses to lay off a portion of their employees to stay afloat. However, now that the number of COVID-19 cases has begun to consistently decline, firms are beginning to add full-time and part-time jobs as they are getting greater in size and returning to their pre-pandemic levels.
Which Sectors Had the Most Increase in Jobs
According to the report, out of the 678,000 jobs that businesses created, 95,000 of the jobs were within the professional and business services, followed by health care with 64,000, construction with 60,000, and transportation and warehousing with 48,000.
As these sectors, along with many others, are increasing their number of workers, it indicates that the economy is slowly gaining momentum. This is pushing the American economy in the right direction and the number of jobs can have a significant impact.
How the Increase in Jobs Could Impact the Economy
When the pandemic first began in February 2020, it wreaked havoc on the economy as many businesses were forced to take extreme measures to ensure they remained above water, which usually meant laying off employees. Consequently, the federal government began issuing stimulus checks and keeping the interest rates low to stimulate the economy and ensure it did not completely collapse.
Image Credit: Iryna Inshyna / Shutterstock.com
However, with the economy being close to full employment via adding hundreds of thousands of jobs over the past month, the Federal Reserve has begun reviewing these numbers carefully to determine the ideal time to increase interest rates. The stimulus checks with the low-interest rates, allowed the economy to continue functioning as people were given spending money.
With the economy showing promises of reverting to its previous form, the low-interest rates have played a role in the high inflation rates. Therefore, chief economists are predicting the Federal Reserve will be raising the interest rates to help combat inflation. These higher interest rates will continue for the rest of the year, at the very least.
Recommended Read: How to Build a Resume to Land Your Dream Job
Chances of Jobs Continuing to Increase by the Same Rate in the Future
Although the job gains reported by the Labor Department showed signs of promise the economy was returning to normal, one critical disclaimer to note is the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded these numbers before Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
Russia is one of the world’s largest suppliers of natural resources such as oil and gas. However, with the economic sanctions on Russia, many countries, including the United States, which partially relied on their natural resources, must now purchase the same volume of natural resources at a premium.
Thus, with the war resulting in gas prices increasing worldwide, many companies within the public and private sectors will most likely have to raise their prices to accommodate the rising gas costs. Should companies within the public and private sectors begin raising their prices, the federal government’s job of fighting inflation becomes increasingly tricky.
Furthermore, the potential rise in prices may cause the job market to grow at a lower rate than what was reported. As mentioned earlier, employers reported they increased the number of jobs they were offering due to the growing economy. However, the rise in prices means their expenses will increase, and in a similar effort to ensure control of their business, they may reduce their workforce.
The continuous rise in jobs available is a positive note because it shows the economy is progressing in the right direction. However, with the ongoing military conflicts in Eastern Europe, it is difficult to accurately determine the severity of the impact on the U.S. economy. Still, one is for sure; only time will tell how the war will affect the economy.
What are your thoughts on the increasing number of jobs and the Russia-Ukraine war? Do you believe that the conflict will cause a stint in the growth of jobs available? Let us know in the comments below.
Main Image Credit: Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com