News / Economy

January Surge in US Hiring Lowers Unemployment to 8.3 Percent

Thomas Warren installs a fuel cell on a Freightliner truck at a plant where the laid off workers will be called back to work to meet increasing demand, Cleveland, N.C., January 12, 2012.
Thomas Warren installs a fuel cell on a Freightliner truck at a plant where the laid off workers will be called back to work to meet increasing demand, Cleveland, N.C., January 12, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +

There's more evidence that the U.S. economy is improving. The U.S. Labor Department says private sector companies added 243,000 jobs in January, pushing the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent from 8.5 in December. The latest reading lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its highest close since before the 2008 financial crisis, and helped lift investor confidence around the world.

For job seekers - a welcome ray of hope. The job market is improving and unemployment is at its lowest level in nearly three years.

"Job growth was widespread in the private sector in January, with the largest gains occurring in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and manufacturing," said John Galvin, acting commissioner at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of jobs created last year also was revised higher - up 60,000 in November and December.

Reaction was immediate on Wall Street. Just five minutes after the opening bell, the Dow Jones average was up more than one percent.

Economist Stewart Hoffman said the jobless rate has fallen for five consecutive months.

"So when you get consistent decline in the unemployment rate and three out of the last five months job growth have topped 200,000, I think you're at the self-sustaining sort of reinforcing positive with this number and the revisions," said Hoffman.

Kicking off a new jobs initiative for military veterans on Friday, President Barack Obama welcomed the strong jobs report, but warned against complacency.  

"The economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up. And we've got to do everything in our power to keep it going," said the president.

"It's been 35 months of unemployment above 8 percent," said Republican presidential contender and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

With Republican presidential hopefuls arguing that the president's economic policies have failed, Yahoo economic editor Daniel Gross said Republicans are likely to push back.

"The only people disheartened by this report were probably Republican campaign consultants," said Gross.

That pushback was evident at a joint economic hearing Friday as Republican Congressman Kevin Brady clashed with Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

"For 23 months we've been gaining jobs in this country, we should be pleased with this news," said Maloney.

"Madame Chairman, my only point, I think, ours is, we do think these numbers are encouraging. Our concern is the unemployment rate is going down because people are giving up," said Brady.

Republicans argue that counting those who have given up looking for work, and those who have been unemployed more than a year, the actual unemployment rate is closer to 15 percent.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7287
JPY
USD
103.22
GBP
USD
0.6027
CAD
USD
1.0991
INR
USD
60.191

Rates may not be current.