News / USA

US Jobless Rate Dips

A woman browses job openings at a job fair in Los Angeles, California, (File)
A woman browses job openings at a job fair in Los Angeles, California, (File)

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein

The U.S. unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest rate in a year and a half, although fewer jobs were created than expected.  Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has chosen several new economic advisers.

The nation’s jobless rate took a surprising tumble in December, to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent the month before.

But the U.S. Labor Department says only 103,000 jobs were added in December, far short of most forecasts.

Watch the Companion TV Report by Mil Arcega:

Although the report suggests an increasing number of Americans are giving up on looking for work, President Obama said Friday the numbers are encouraging. “The trend is clear.  We saw 12 straight months of private sector job growth.  That is the first time that has been true since 2006," he said.

While visiting a window factory near Washington, the president said the economy added 1.3 million jobs last year, the best one-year gain since 2007, and he expects more good news to come. “Each quarter was stronger than the previous quarter, which means that the pace of hiring is beginning to pick up.  We are also seeing more optimistic economic forecasts for the year ahead," he said.

But Mr. Obama said the figures underscore the need for his economic team to work harder to improve the economy.

The president named several new members of that team Friday, led by Gene Sperling, who will be the director of the National Economic Council.

Sperling held the same job during Bill Clinton’s presidency in the 1990’s, and Mr. Obama is hoping to duplicate the economic successes of that era. “He helped formulate the policies that contributed to turning deficits to surpluses, and a time of prosperity and progress for American families in a sustained way," he said.

He replaces Larry Summers, who stepped down late last year to return to Harvard University.

The president said Sperling worked with him to devise the tax cut compromise with Republicans which enabled other key legislation to be passed before the end of last year’s congressional session.

While visiting the window company Friday, Mr. Obama encouraged American businesses to take advantage of tax breaks and do more hiring and spending.  

The leader of the nation’s central bank was cautiously optimistic about the path of the U.S. economy when he testified before Congress Friday.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers there is increased evidence that a recovery in consumer and business spending may be taking hold.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid