News / USA

US Labor Market Expands as Jobless Rate Dips

U.S. job seekers adjust their paperwork as they wait in line to attend a job fair in New York, February  28, 2013.
U.S. job seekers adjust their paperwork as they wait in line to attend a job fair in New York, February 28, 2013.
VOA News

The U.S. labor market robustly expanded last month, adding another 236,000 jobs, while the country's jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent, a four-year low.
 

The government's unexpected, upbeat report Friday signaled that the sluggish American economy, the world's largest, may be starting to advance more rapidly.


The senior economist at a large U.S. bank, Mark Vitner of Wells Fargo, said the favorable numbers may presage a substantial improvement.
 

The U.S. labor market robustly expanded last month, adding another 236,000 jobs, while the country's jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent, a four-year low.

Watch related video by Mil Arcega for VOA

US Economy Adds 263K Jobs, Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.7%i
X
March 09, 2013 12:03 AM
U.S. hiring was stronger than expected last month. The Labor Department says American companies added 236 thousand jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 to 7.7 percent. That's the lowest level since December 2008 and suggests the U.S. recovery is gaining momentum. But some say the recovery may be short lived. Mil Arcega has more for VOA.

The government's unexpected, upbeat report Friday signaled that the sluggish American economy, the world's largest, may be starting to advance more rapidly.

The additional jobs last month came on top of an average of 195,000 that were added in each of the three previous months.


"I think there’s been a lot more improvement in the economy than people recognize and the numbers are beginning to show it. It’s really beginning to look like a real recovery," Vitner said.
 

The additional jobs last month came on top of an average of 195,000 that were added in each of the three previous months.


U.S. economists had predicted that the jobless rate would remain stubbornly unchanged at the January level of 7.9 percent.


The February rate is still well above the decades-long 5 percent level that has been common in the U.S. But the 7.7 percent figure is the lowest since the 7.3 percent figure recorded in December 2008 - in the initial stages of the country's deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.


U.S. economists had predicted that the jobless rate would remain stubbornly unchanged at the January level of 7.9 percent.

The February rate is still well above the decades-long 5 percent level that has been common in the U.S. But the 7.7 percent figure is the lowest since December 2008 - in the initial stages of the country's deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said more workers were hired last month in professional and business services, and by construction and health care companies.



The Bureau of Labor Statistics said more workers were hired last month in professional and business services, and by construction and health care companies.


Vitner said the jobless rate may dip further, but then increase again as more unemployed workers begin new job searches. In the U.S., unemployed workers who have quit looking for jobs are not counted among the jobless until they begin looking again for work.


"I do think the jobless rate will fall further. I don’t think it will fall every month. I think it might get to 7 and a half percent in the next couple of months, but then I think it’s possible the unemployment rate will actually increase because the jobs that we’re creating now, a larger portion of the jobs that we’re creating, are relatively high-paying jobs and those high-paying jobs are beginning to draw people back into the labor market," Vitner said.


The U.S. has struggled to fully recover from the recession. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average of key stocks recorded all-time highs this week. Corporations are recording large profits, even as they have been slow to hire more workers.


In adding to their payrolls in February, employers ignored the contentious rancor in Washington last month between President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents in Congress over whether to allow $85 billion in mandated government spending cuts to take effect.


The White House and Congress were unable to reach agreement and the budget trims took hold a week ago, although the effect of the cuts on the economy remains uncertain. Some government workers are facing unpaid furloughs from their jobs in the coming months, while some government services have been curtailed.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: NVO from: USA
March 08, 2013 1:42 PM
Let's get something straight....RIGHT NOW!! Its all LIES, carefully fabricated by the Regime to mislead the people. The real agenda of the Regime is for ALL Americans to become poor, so they will be reliant on the Regime. They will continue to devaluate the dollar, calling it "inflation", and the EVIL ROCKEFELLER family who owns the FEDERAL RESERVE BANK, will drag us into another war, so they can make a huge profit off the INTEREST of the money borrowed to go to war. Hey, ROCKEFELLERS, can you explain to the people why you call a PRIVATELY OWNED BANK, "The Federal Reserve". Can you explain that?! EXPOSE THE EVIL ROCKEFELLER FAMILY!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid