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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid