News / Economy

    US Economy Gains 151,000 Jobs, Unemployment Declines Slightly

    Mixed Jobs Report Shows US Added Just 151K Jobs, But Rate Falls Below 5%i
    February 05, 2016 10:14 PM
    The U.S. economy created fewer jobs than expected in January – just 151,000, well below the 190,000 economists were expecting. But it was enough to bring down the nation’s unemployment rate to 4.9 percent, the lowest level in nearly eight years. So why are U.S. stock prices falling? Analysts say it depends on how you read the tea leaves. Mil Arcega has more.
    Jim Randle

    The U.S. economy had a net gain of 151,000 jobs in January, which is lower than the previous couple of months and less than most economists had predicted.

    Friday’s report from the Labor Department also said the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.9 percent, its lowest level in nearly eight years.  

    “The United States of America right now has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,”  said President Barack Obama, commenting on the report.  In remarks at the White House, he said businesses have added 14 million new jobs in just under six years.

    The new data show U.S. wages rose 2.5 percent over the past year, and Mr. Obama said that over the past six months, “wages have grown at the fastest rate since the (2007 – 2008 financial) crisis.”

    WATCH: President Obama discusses the U.S. economy:

    President Comments on the Economyi
    VOA News
    February 05, 2016 6:38 PM
    President Barack Obama commented on the report, saying, “Right now, the United States of America has the strongest, most durable economy in the world.” In remarks at the White House, he said businesses have added 14 million new jobs in just under six years. Obama also said economic growth is starting to be reflected in Americans' paychecks. “Over the past six months, wages have grown at the fastest rate since the [2007 – 2008 financial] crisis.”

    Government experts say 7.8 million people remain out of work, and another 6 million who want full-time employment can only find part-time jobs.  American Enterprise Institute scholar Aparna Mathur says the data show little progress in cutting the long-term jobless rate or the high unemployment rate among teenagers.  

    Last month, jobs were lost in warehousing, private education companies and the oil industry, while hiring rose in retail, restaurants, health care and manufacturing.  

    S&P rating chief economist Beth Ann Bovino says the hiring numbers are below expectations, but still show “America’s recovery is continuing” and may encourage the central bank to continue raising interest rates.  

    Tara Sinclair, chief economist for the jobs site “Indeed,” says the report is a positive indicator and shows that demand for workers is still high.  

    A separate report on U.S. trade was less positive, showing a growing gap between what U.S. companies sell to foreign buyers and what Americans buy from abroad.  The trade deficit grew $1.2 billion in December to a total of more than $43 billion for the month.

    Analysts say the strong U.S. currency is making American-made products more expensive on global markets, hurting sales.  Wells Fargo Bank experts also say slow growth in U.S. trading partners is hurting demand for exports, which can slow U.S. economic growth.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies


    Rates may not be current.