News / Economy

US Unemployment Drops to 8.9 Percent

Job seekers pack the aisles of the 32nd Annual Spring Career Fair at Cleveland State University on a day when the jobless report showed employers hired in February at the fastest pace in almost a year, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent, March
Job seekers pack the aisles of the 32nd Annual Spring Career Fair at Cleveland State University on a day when the jobless report showed employers hired in February at the fastest pace in almost a year, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent, March

Multimedia

U.S. unemployment dipped below 9 percent last month, as private employers added the most jobs since April. The U.S. Labor Department released its monthly employment report Friday, showing the U.S. economy picked up a net total of 192,000 jobs in February. That brings the U.S. jobless rate to 8.9 percent - the lowest in nearly two years and another sign that the US recovery is picking up steam.

In the Midwestern state of Wisconsin - another sign of the improving economy. The Oshkosh Corporation is hiring 750 workers to service its military contracts. For the 2,500 applicants competing for those jobs, it's a welcome glimmer of hope.

One man in Wisconsin said, "Fourteen years in the paper industry and a little bit in between there, and now I've hopefully got a new start."

And the latest job numbers support his optimism. Private employers added 222,000 jobs last month, bringing the nation's unemployment rate to its lowest level since April 2009.

Wells Fargo chief economist John Silva said it shows that companies are more confident about a sustained U.S. recovery. "It was nice to see the unemployment rate down a little bit. It was good to see that most of the job growth was in fact in the private sector. I think those are all good signs telling us that we have sustained economic growth and a better labor market."

The fastest growth has been in the manufacturing and service sectors, which have benefited from higher consumer spending and an increase in U.S. exports abroad.

Still, the total number of unemployed remains high at 13.7 million, nearly double what it was before the recession. Factoring in those wishing to work more hours and those who have given up looking for work - the so-called underemployment rate is 15.9 percent.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said, "We need to be reminded that we've added jobs. One and a half million private sector jobs, and that, I think, it's right where we need to be, but we need to continue to not lose sight of where we need to go to increase opportunities for people to get employed in new jobs."

A larger threat to sustained job growth, though, is the rising price of oil - now above $100 a barrel. White House spokesman Jay Carney said,
"The president is extremely aware of the impact that a spike in oil prices can have on gasoline prices and therefore on the wallets and pocketbooks of average Americans."

Unemployment has dropped nearly one percent since November. Average paychecks have remained flat, however, which means higher gas prices could put a serious dent in consumer spending.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.