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Broadcast Employment Slipped In February, Government Data Shows.

After posting an increase in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of employees working in broadcast and at content providers edged slightly lower last month. It reports there were 341,400 people at work across radio, television, and other broadcast-related content companies. That was a 1.8% decline from a month earlier, or about 1,800 fewer in February than in January. The BLS does not release radio-specific monthly tracking figures.

There were some surprises in the overall “information” segment that includes broadcast media. The BLS says the total number of people working in publishing rose 2.2% between January and February, with an even larger 3.2% increase in the number of Americans working in the motion pictures and sound recording industries.

Hand in hand with media jobs is employment in the sector that includes advertising and public relations. That figure was essentially flat month-to-month. The BLS says there were 519,200 people working in advertising and public relations last month, a decline of 400 from January. It was the first time the sector has shown a loss since last spring.

Overall, the government says the U.S. unemployment rate inched higher last month to 3.9%, up from 3.7% in January. It is the highest rate since January 2022. Yet the BLS reported that the U.S. economy added 275,000 jobs in February. A spike in construction, retail and food services jobs contributed to the surprising gain in employment in February according to a J.P. Morgan analysis.

“In upcoming quarters, economic indicators suggest the pace of job growth will slow and help bring down inflation,” analyst Chief Investment Officer Director John Veit says in a review of the numbers. “Alongside the rise in the unemployment rate to a two-year high and a much weaker rise in wages, there is less reason now to be concerned that renewed labor market strength will drive inflation higher again.”

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