Friday, March 28, 2014

Job Losses Continue in February

If it takes three months of job losses to be in a recession, we’re on the way. The February job release from the Department of Workforce Solutions says the state lost 1,900 wage jobs, a 0.2% decline, between February 2013 and February 2014. DWS released the released this afternoon (March 28).
Job disappeared in January, too. See previous post.
The big February to February hits were in manufacturing and professional and business services. Manufacturing lost 2,000 jobs, a 7% drop from the 28,800 jobs of a year ago. PBS was down 1,900 from the February 2013 employment of 98,300.
The claim is that the finance activities sector was up 1,800 jobs over the year. This is after finance got 1,800 jobs lopped away in the benchmarking revisions covered in my new column.
The mining and logging sector resumed its role of saving the state or at least the southeast corner and state government revenue with a 1,400 job increase between February 2013 and February 2014.
All in all the private sector added 400 jobs over the year. Government lost 2,300 jobs over the year with the feds and local government both down 1,100. State government dropped 600 in education but only 100 in total. State government was up 3,800 between January and February and local grew 2,800 with 2,500 in education. The figures are not seasonally adjusted. Perhaps the monthly increase reflected post Christmas break returning to work.
A glance at county employment (different from wage jobs) shows all four metro areas with slight increases. That means the job losses were in rural counties.

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