Market Environment
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March 15, 2017

February 2017 Market Environment

U.S. Economy

The unemployment rate declined to 4.7% for the month of February, as the number of unemployed persons fell to about 7.5M for the month. The participation rate increased to 63.0% and the employment-population ratio rose to 60.0%. Average duration of unemployment remained at 25.1 weeks during the month, and is down from 29.0 weeks this time last year. The broader U-6 measure of unemployment also decreased to 9.2%. The non-farm payroll, the net number of non-farm jobs added or subtracted per month, rose by 235K. Job growth has averaged 182K per month in the last twelve months. Job growth during February was strongest in construction (58K), professional and business services (37K), private education services (29K), manufacturing (28K), health care (27K) and mining (8K). Employment in other major industries was mostly unchanged during the month with the exception of retail trade which lost 26K jobs. Non-farm payroll employment for December and January were revised to show 9K less jobs than previously reported.

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