Unemployment rate dips to 8.9%

The unemployment rate dipped from 9.0% in January to 8.9% in February, according to data released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Construction employment grew by 33,000 in February, following a decline of 22,000 in January that may have reflected severe winter weather, according to the bureau. Within construction, specialty trade contractors accounted for the bulk of the February job gain (+28,000).

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000 in February. The number of unemployed persons held steady at about 13.7 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was 6.0 million and accounted for 43.9% of the unemployed.