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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

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: Unvaccinated kids must wear masks in school this fall — CDC says schools should still universally require masks and physical distancing.
  2. Politics: New York to lift mask mandate for vaccinated people — CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift.
  3. Vaccines: Sanofi, GSK COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in phase 2 trials — Vaccine-hesitant Americans cite inaccurate side effects.
  4. Business: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance — Delta to require all new employees be vaccinated — Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance.
  5. World: Taiwan raises COVID-19 alert level amid surge in cases — Biden administration to send 20 million U.S.-authorized vaccine doses abroad.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
2 hours ago - World

Biden backs Gaza ceasefire for first time in call with Netanyahu

Biden with Netanyahu in 2010. Photo: Debbi Hill/Pool/ Getty Images

President Biden expressed support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in a call on Thursday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said in a statement.

Why it matters: This is the first time since the beginning of the crisis last Monday that Biden or anyone in his administration has publicly backed a ceasefire. It will increase pressure on Israel to seek an end to the conflict, which Netanyahu has insisted will continue until Hamas' ability to attack Israel is further degraded.

4 hours ago - World

Schumer: "I want to see a ceasefire"

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Monday he wants to "see a ceasefire reach quickly and mourn the loss of life."

Why it matters: Schumer is a staunch defender of Israel and has maintained that Israel should be able to defend itself.