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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs