A mildly encouraging employment report from the BLS today: in February, payrolls increased by 175,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7% (from 6.6%), but that was partly due to a slight increase in labor force participation.
The payroll number comes from a survey of firms and the unemployment rate from a survey of households (which has a smaller sample size); in the household survey, the number of employed people only grew by 40,000, while the labor force grew by 264,000. Since the surveys are separate, they do not match up every month - last month the number of people reporting they were employed in the household survey was much stronger than the increase in payrolls.
'U-6', the broader measure of the unemployment rate which includes discouraged workers (i.e., people who are not looking for work but say they would like to have a job) and people working part-time but who would prefer to be full-time is at 12.6%, down from 14.3% a year ago.
10.5 million people are unemployed, and 3.8 million of them have been unemployed for longer than 27 weeks.
The data are all seasonally adjusted; on a non-seasonally adjusted basis
the unemployment rate was 7.0% and payrolls increased by 750,000 (i.e.,
unemployment in February is normally high, so the seasonal adjustment
is down, but payrolls normally grow, so the growth of payrolls is also
adjusted down to remove the 'seasonal' effect).