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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs