The February Jobs Report was released Before Coronavirus (BC)

It was great for Men, Women, and Multiple Job Workers

The first two job reports of 2020 have been very strong. Full-time jobs were up, unemployment was down, all sectors were looking great. The Wuhan Virus, COVID-19 Wuhan Flu, or "the coronavirus," have changed everyone's thinking regarding the next few months. The good news is that February was definitely BC. The March Current Population Survey (CPS) data for Jobs and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) Workers and wages data was collected close to March 12th. Most of the "self-quarantine action" happened around St. Patrick's Day. Where were we this February?

We had a February record level of women working. The job cycle is less pronounced for women than men. Normally there are more women working every month from March through December, with a slight decline during January before starting to climb the hill  million more again during March. There are 5.477 million more full-time jobs (FT) for women right now than during July 2007, the pre-recession peak for Jobs and Workers. There are also 1.720 million part-time job (PT) for women now than during July 2007. Unfortunately, the participation rate is lower now than prior to the recession. Currently, women have a February Participation rate of 57.59% with an unemployment rate of 3.72%. This is much better than it was during February 2008 when women had a comparable participation rate (57.54%) and an unemployment rate of 8.33%. This difference in unemployment rate, and participation rate, mean that the effective unemployment rate for women is actually lower at 3.63%. (For a discussion of U-7 Effective Unemployment refer to prior articles on the "Five Presidents.")

We had a record level of February Men Working this February. The growth in jobs since the Great Recession has been a recovery of 10.8 million lost full-time jobs along with the addition of 971,000 more full-time jobs. Some people in the media confuse "recovery" with "expansion." The former administration liked to discuss jobs created after they hit bottom during January of 2010. The problem is that when they left office there were fewer full-time jobs during January 2017 than we had during July 2007. Men lost the majority of the jobs. Men are now working 2.467 million more part-time jobs than they were during the Summer of 2007.Men were participating at 72.40% with an unemployment rate of 5.72% during February of 2008. Those numbers are now 68.96% and 4.10%. Their effective unemployment rate is an underappreciated 8.65%.

Men and women are working a record level of February Multiple Jobs. This column has written a number of times that he best form of unemployment insurance is a second job. That may not have been true during this once in a lifetime layoff. Prior to the "forced closing" of the economy:

  • 4.008 million men worked multiple jobs with 2.378 million working a FT and a PT job, 728,000 working PT PT, and 197,000 working dual FT. The rest fell into a category of variable hours or PT FT.
  • 4.281 million women were working multiple jobs with 2.198 million working FT PT, 1.398 million working PT PT, and 110,000 working FT F.

Men have traditionally worked more FT jobs than women. Women have traditionally worked more PT jobs than men. This is born out in the level of men and women working FT FT and PT PT.

We set a February Record for Dual Job Workers.  There were 8.181 million dual job workers with 4.576 million FT PT, 2.176 million PT PT and 308,000 FT FT. The 2.126 million dual PT job workers was not a record. We first eclipsed 2 million PT PT during February during 2013 when we hit 2.043 million.  We hit 2.146 million February of 2016, and 2.180 million during February of 2017.

Record February for people working a primary FT job and a secondary PT job. The other component, the primary PT secondary FT worker was not as high as it was during February of 1998, 1999, or 2000, so the combined level of FT and PT job workers was not a record.

February was a record month, BC, before coronavirus. We had a record level of February FT jobs. We had a record February for Men working and Women working. We had a February record for multiple job workers.  We may have one more jobs report BC before we enter into the CE, Coronavirus Era. We may skip from BC directly to AD, After Disease or After Disruption. Some sectors are ramping up production while others are shutting down. If this lingers then some of the people who were working in one industry prior to the disruption may be working a different sector during and after the disruption.

It's the Economy.

 Reclaiming Common Sense