The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that non-farm payroll employment increased by 192,000 in February, and the unemployment rate droppped slightly to 8.9 percent. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and business services, healthcare, and transportation and warehousing. For the week ending Feb. 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted unemployment claims was 368,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 388,000. The four-week moving average was 388,500, a decrease of 12,750 from the previous week's revised average of 401,250. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was three percent for the week ending Feb. 19, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's revised rate of 3.1 percent. The advance number for seasonally-adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Feb.19 was 3,774,000, a decrease of 59,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,833,000. The four-week moving average was 3,863,750, a decrease of 40,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,904,250. Employment in the service-providing sector continued to expand in February, led by a gain of 47,000 in professional and business services. Employment services added 29,000 jobs, and employment rose by 7,000 in management and technical consulting. Within employment services, the number of jobs in temporary help services edged up over the month. Construction employment also rose by 33,000 in February, following a decline of 22,000 in January that may have reflected severe winter weather. Within construction, specialty trade contractors accounted for the bulk of the February job gain (+28,000). For more information, visit http://www.bls.gov.