News / USA

    Problems Persist, Despite Better Than Expected US Job Gains

    Despite better than expected job growth in November, analysts say the US economy is far from healthy.  U.S. companies added 146 thousand jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell two tenths of a percent to 7.7 - the lowest since December 2008. The better than expected job numbers, however, don't tell the whole story.

    Despite wreaking havoc in the Northeast states and devastating hundreds of businesses, Hurricane Sandy's impact on jobs appears to have been minimal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says U.S. companies hired more workers than expected in November, sending the nation's unemployment rate to a four-year low.

    But Yahoo Finance expert Aaron Task said the rate fell for the wrong reasons.

    "A lot of people dropped out of the labor force. That's why the unemployment rate went down, not because 146,000 jobs were added. You had over 300,000 people who essentially gave up looking for jobs," said Task.

    Others say unemployment is becoming chronic. Although the economy has been recovering for three years, labor market economist Heidi Shierholz said the job market is still in crisis mode.

    "Over the last year, we have seen some real improvement but it's been so modest and the hole we have to dig out of is so steep that we literally have a gap in the labor market of around nine million jobs," said economist Heidi Shierholz.

    Instead of focusing on how many Americans are out of work, Chuck Vollmer - a blogger and author of the book "Jobenomics" - said U.S. policy must address ways to expand the current workforce, estimated at more than 100 million.  

    "People tend to look at the unemployment numbers. What I'm saying, let's look at the employment numbers, let's look at this bottom group here, the 122 or the 102 million and let's grow it to 122 million," said Vollmer.

    To do that, Vollmer said U.S. policy needs to be more supportive of small businesses.

    But a bigger economic threat may be looming by year's end.

    At a Senate hearing Thursday, economist Mark Zandi warned that political dysfunction and the inability of Washington lawmakers to deal with coming tax hikes and budget cuts - the so called fiscal cliff - could lead to a loss in business confidence.

    "It hasn't affected hiring and layoff decisions yet, but it will if we get into next year and we get into February and we haven't nailed this down, the economy and investors will bail and the economy will begin to struggle," said Zandi.

    On Wall Street, investors paid little attention to long-term issues and focused more on the better-than-expected numbers, pushing major stock indexes firmly into positive territory.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora