News / USA

US Unemployment Rate Drops Sharply

BIll Beaverson works on a Jeep at the Chrysler Toledo Assembly complex, in Toledo, Ohio. The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than two years.
BIll Beaverson works on a Jeep at the Chrysler Toledo Assembly complex, in Toledo, Ohio. The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than two years.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level in more than two years in November. The report shows a mixed picture, however, for the troubled U.S. job market.

The news for people lining up to apply for jobs got a little better on Friday. The Labor Department says November's jobless rate was 8.6 percent, an improvement of four-tenths of a percent from October.

The data also show that the U.S. economy gained 120,000 jobs, which is about the number of jobs needed to accomodate new entrants to the workforce.

The slow economy has hurt city and state governments, which continued cutting jobs.  But private companies boosted hiring by 140,000, particularly in retail, professional services, and health care.

U.S. President Barack Obama said the American economy has created private sector jobs for the past 21 months, nearly three million in all.

Mr. Obama said "we need to keep that growth going" and urged Congress to stop blocking laws that he said would help create jobs.

"Now is not the time to slam the brakes on the recovery, right now is the time to step on the gas," he said. "We need to get this done."

The high unemployment rate is a top issue in the 2012 race for president.  And Republicans, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, again blamed U.S. economic problems on President Obama's policies.

"Any job creation is welcome news, but the unemployment rate in our country is still unacceptably high," he said. "November marks the 34th consecutive month with unemployment above eight percent.

Boehner says a closer look shows that the rate declined in part because 300,000 people grew so discouraged that they gave up their search for work.  Only people who are seeking work are counted as unemployed.

But Democratic strategist Steve McMahon has said an improving economy will help Mr. Obama's chances for reelection.

"What matters most in a presidential campaign, at the end, when it comes to the economy, is do people think things are getting better and on a path to getting better," he said.

On the streets of New York City, some people doubt the economy will improve.

“I think I’ll have a job. I don’t think things will get better for that many people," said Lisa Ramini, an unemployed worker.

So is she pretty pessimistic?

“Yeah, it doesn’t seem like it’s getting better," she said. "It’s been a while now that people have been without jobs. There hasn’t been much improvement this far.”

Others welcomed the job gains.

“Any improvement is good, yeah I hope we are on the right track,” said one man.

The newest data show that 13.3 million people are officially unemployed in the United States. Millions more want full-time work but can find only part-time jobs.

U.S.Unemployment_Jan_Nov

U.S.Unemployment

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid