The number of Americans not in the labor force last month totaled 93,688,000, 374,000 fewer than the 94,062,000 not in the labor force in January–and the labor force participation rate also improved, with 62.9 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population either holding a job or actively seeking one.

In the past 12 months, the highest labor participation rate was 62.8 percent in February and May 2015; the lowest was 62.4 percent in September 2015, and that 62.4 percent was the lowest in 38 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the economy added 242,000 jobs in February (compared with a revised 172,000 in January), and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent for the second month in a row. READ MORE