News / USA

US Jobless Rate Falls to Two-Year Low

Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 1, 2011
Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 1, 2011

Multimedia

More signs that the world's largest economy is on the mend: The U.S. Labor Department reported private employers hired more than 200,000 new workers last month. That sent the nation's unemployment rate to 8.8 percent, the lowest level in two years.

The job picture is looking brighter for many Americans. Private employers get much of the credit, adding a net total of 216,000 jobs in March.  
Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall said it is the second straight month the economy has added more than 200,000 jobs.

"For more than two months we've had pretty steady job growth. It's been around 135,000, 140,00 a month. In the last two months, looks like we may be getting an acceleration in job growth, which would be a good sign."

The nation's unemployment rate is now 8.8 percent; down from 9.8 percent in December - the sharpest four-month drop in nearly 30 years.

At a UPS shipping facility in Maryland on Friday, President Barack Obama joked that the better than expected job numbers mean more packages to deliver. But he struck a more serious note, saying his administration's top priority remains job creation.

"And I will not be satisfied until every American who wants a good job can find one, and every American gets a shot at the American dream.  That's what we're focused on, that's what we're fighting for."

At the New York Stock Exchange, investors were also focused on the job numbers - sending stock prices sharply higher. With domestic manufacturing and exports rising, analysts say companies are likely to pick up the pace of hiring this year.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said his company is among those planning to expand. "Engaged, well-deployed multinationals, I think you are going to see adding more jobs, including the Boeing company. We are going to add a few thousand jobs this year basically to fund growth on the commercial side of our business."

Republicans welcomed the positive job numbers. But House speaker John Boehner said the administration's  policies are adding to the economic uncertainty. "It's clear that we need to cut spending. We need to stop unnecessary regulations, end the threat of tax hikes and pass the trade bills that are out there. Those are the pillars of the Republican plan that will actually create jobs in America."

Despite steady job growth, some 13.5 million Americans are still out of work. That's almost twice as many as before the recession began in December 2007.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deali
X
July 07, 2015 12:02 PM
If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs