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Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. added 379,000 jobs last month, more than double what economists had expected and more than seven times the number of jobs added in January, however, a key theme from Friday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was the fact that little has changed.

What they're saying: "Both the unemployment rate, at 6.2 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 10.0 million, changed little in February," BLS analysts said in the Employment Situation Summary.

  • "Although both measures are much lower than their April 2020 highs, they remain well above their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020 (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively)."

Go deeper: "The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 6.1 million, changed little in February but is up by 1.7 million over the year."

  • "In February, the number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 6.9 million, little changed over the month but up by 1.9 million over the year."
  • "Among those not in the labor force who currently want a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.9 million, was essentially unchanged in February but is up by 453,000 over the year."

Yes, but: BLS also noted that bad weather was a factor, which suggests hiring could pick up further going forward.

  • Deutsche Bank economists now predict "the February employment print was merely a warm up for what will likely be several months of even stronger job gains ahead as the economy begins to emerge from the pandemic and another wave of fiscal stimulus boosts demand."

Yes, but, but: The economists also note that the unemployment rate "drastically understates the extent of labor market slack and the lack of improvement in many labor market metrics."

  • Further, "even if payroll gains were to average 700k per month going forward, it would still take two years for the labor market to fully regain its pre-Covid trend."

One level deeper: Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, calculated that employers would need to add an additional 2.4 million jobs to make up for those that would have been gained if COVID-19 had not derailed the economy.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

3 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

Updated 4 hours ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."