News / USA

    US Unemployment Dips to 6.6 Percent, but Hiring Continues to Slow

    US Unemployment Dips to 6.6 Percent, but Hiring Continues to Slowi
    X
    February 07, 2014 10:11 PM
    Unemployment in the U.S. has fallen to a five-year low. The Labor Department says the economy added 113,000 jobs in January - well below expectations of 180,000 -- but enough to push the nation’s unemployment rate down to 6.6 percent. Still, there are growing concerns the labor market has cooled - in more ways than one. Mil Arcega has more for VOA.
    Unemployment in the U.S. has fallen to a five-year low. The Labor Department says the economy added 113,000 jobs in January - well below expectations of 180,000 - but enough to push the nation’s unemployment rate down to 6.6 percent. Still, there are growing concerns the labor market has cooled - in more ways than one.

    It’s a mixed picture for the U.S. labor market. On the one hand, employers added more jobs than in the previous month. On the other, job creation remained frustratingly weak, according to Bankrate.com bureau chief Mark Hamrick via Skype.

    “Most worrisome thing is that hiring has not been at the robust level that was seen in previous recoveries,” he said.

    Job growth in January was well below the average monthly gains for last year, when employers were hiring an average of nearly 200,000 workers each month.

    But Hamrick said the demand for workers may have cooled in January for a number of reasons. “We know that severe weather has really been making an impact across much of the United States and so we’ve seen, for example, car sales down. We know that housing activity’s been affected, and surely the consumer has been hibernating - in many cases because it's miserable out there,” he said.

    Despite snowy conditions in many parts of the country, employment grew in the manufacturing and construction sectors. And the labor participation rate improved slightly as more Americans started looking for work.  

    But while the unemployment rate is now the lowest since 2008, some labor experts say more Americans are taking lower-paying jobs, and others are going back to school. Also, some people -- especially those who have been out of work six months or longer - are dropping out of the labor pool altogether, said economist Ken Simonson.

    “So in three different ways, it may actually drive down the unemployment rate, but not all of those will produce immediate benefits for the economy,” said Simonson.

    On Wall Street, investors appear to have shrugged off the weaker-than-expected job numbers -- sending stock prices higher on expectations of more robust growth and warmer weather in the coming months.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora