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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs