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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid