The number of Americans actively employed, or seeking employment in the last month hit a record high of 160,056,000, the first time this number passed the 160,000,000 mark, according to numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, there were 159,716,000 Americans in the labor force.
340,000 more Americans joined the labor force in February, while 176,000 left. The number of Americans not in the labor force declined from 94,366,000 in January to 94,190,000 in February. The bureau counts those not in the labor force as people who do not have a job and did not actively seek one in the last four weeks.
The labor force participation rate, which is the percent of the population that has a job or actively looked for one in the last month, increased from 62.9 percent in January to 63.0 percent in February.
In addition to more people joining the labor force this month, the number of unemployed individuals declined by 107,000 Americans, leading to a decline in the unemployment rate.
The unemployment rate for all Americans went down from 4.8 percent in January to 4.7 percent in February. This does not account for those individuals who have dropped out of the labor force—it simply measures the percent of those who did not have a job but actively looked for one over the month.