The employment data for February revealed that hiring rebounded in February after a slow start to the year. According to the BLS, employers added 378,000 new jobs in February, driving the unemployment rate down to 3.8%. These gains were higher than the 440,000new jobs predicted by economists. The job gains were widely distributed across industries, with healthcare and hospitality leading the way. In a positive sign for the real estate industry, the construction industry added 60,000 new jobs in February.
The unemployment rate dropped 20 basis points in February, from 4.0% to 3.8%. In February 2020, before the pandemic started, the unemployment rate was 3.5%. However, the labor force participation rate remains well below where is was two years ago. In February 2022, the labor force participation rate was 62.3%, compared to 63.4% in February 2020.
The February jobs report showed that the impact of the omicron variant of Covid is declining. Only 13.0% of workers worked remotely due to Covid in February, down from 15.4% in January. These are employees who specifically worked from home in the last 4 weeks due to Covid, not simply remote workers. Additionally, the household survey data showed that the number of people unable to work at all, or who worked fewer hours at some point in the four weeks preceding the latest survey due to the pandemic, was 4.2 million. In January, that figure was 6.0 million.
Overall, the February 2022 jobs report was a portrait of a recovering economy. Hiring demand remains strong and the job market continues to improve. Hiring a recruiter can help you find the right candidate to hire for your available real estate role. According to Nela Richardson, ADP’s chief economist, “Hiring remains robust but capped by reduced labor supply post-pandemic.”