News / USA

US Job Losses Drop Below 10 Percent

Multimedia

The U.S. jobless rate dropped to 9.7 percent in the first month of the new year, providing Americans with some good news that the economic recovery may be taking hold.  But, overall another 20,000 jobs were lost, which was disappointing as President Barack Obama and majority Democrats begin a push for new legislation to stimulate job growth.

The three tenths dip below 10 percent is a psychological boost for Americans, the president and majority Democrats as they focus legislative efforts on creating jobs, and try to attract some support from opposition Republicans to economic policies.

In reporting the 9.7 percent figure, the lowest since last August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that, based on a survey of American households, the number of employed rose by 541,000, though overall employers shed another 20,000 additional jobs.

But at a hearing of the bipartisan Joint Economic Committee in Washington, Bureau commissioner Keith Hall also noted a continuing upward trend in the number of people seeking but unable to find work.

"Both the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate declined in January, however the share of those jobless for 27 weeks and over continued to rise," said Keith Hall.

Democrat Carolyn Maloney said the figures showed that President Obama's efforts to reverse the recession are succeeding.

"It appears that we are trending in the right direction," said Carolyn Maloney. "We no longer are facing an avalanche of job losses."

Republicans pounced on recently revised government figures showing one million more jobs lost than previously estimated since the U.S. recession began in December 2007, a total of 8.4 million.

House of Representatives Republican leader John Boehner assailed what he called the president's "job-killing policies" which he asserted are expanding government and debt.

President Obama and Democrats have said job figures would have been far worse without the economic stimulus the Democratic-controlled Congress passed last year.

Addressing the Democratic National Committee winter meeting in Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to a slightly higher figure reported recently of 22,000 non-farm private sector jobs lost, and compared it to a 741,000 figure of a year ago.

"We know we have to do better, but it is a big difference," said Nancy Pelosi. "It is 720,000 jobs fewer than January of last year."

Among a series of steps to boost job growth, the president has proposed using $30 billion from loans the government made to financial institutions to help stimulate bank lending to small businesses.

Next week, the Senate will take an $80-billion jobs bill, which includes tax cuts as incentives for Republicans, who although they remain in the minority now have enough seats to block major legislation.

Senator Richard Durbin appealed to Republicans to work with Democrats.

"This is a good faith offer on the Democratic side," said Richard Durbin. "We are inviting our friends on the Republican side to join us.  Bring your best ideas forward.  Let's put these on the floor and move on them with a sense of urgency."

But Republican Senator John McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to President Obama, challenged the president's job creation proposals and what McCain called out-of-control spending.

"The president says he is going to have a spending freeze next year and in the very next breath proposes a $100 billion in new spending called a jobs bill, not a stimulus bill, but a jobs bill," said John McCain. "It is out of control."

President Obama is scheduled to meet next week with House and Senate Democrats and Republicans as part of his efforts to encourage bipartisan cooperation.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called the drop in overall unemployment reported on Friday encouraging, but added continuing job losses were discouraging, underlining the need to advance the president's tax cut and loan incentive goals to stimulate small business hiring.  

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid