The US unemployment rate fell to a four-year low last month, according to a report issued Friday by the Labor Department, slipping from 7.7 percent to 7.6 percent. The decline was unexpected by economists that took part in a recent Bloomberg survey, which called for the jobless rate to hold steady, but that was where the good news ended with Friday's jobs report. The nation's still-recovering economy produced just 88,000 new jobs last month according to the report, falling well short of the 190,000 jobs expected by the economists in the Bloomberg survey, on average. Even worse news is that the dip in the jobless rate only came about because another 500,000 Americans fell out of the job market, either because their unemployment benefits ran out or they just gave up looking for work.
The US Labor Department reported Monday that jobless rates rose in half of the 50 US states plus the District of Columbia in January, though the rates were still below the national average (7.9 percent at the time) in nearly half of those states. The agency also noted that jobless rates declined in just eight states while it remained steady in the other seventeen. Among the 50 US states, North Dakota continued to enjoy the lowest unemployment rate, at just 3.3 percent, while California and Rhode Island tied for the highest at 9.8 percent. Nevada, which had the highest jobless rate in December, saw its unemployment rate fall 2.3 percent to 9.7 percent, placing it just behind California and Rhode Island.
The US Labor Department reported late Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits fell for a third straight week last week while the four-week moving average slipped to its lowest level in over five years. The news adds to a string of recent economic data that shows the recovery is picking up steam. Earlier Thursday, a report showed that producer prices gave gone up, but only because of the recent rise in gasoline prices, easing fears that tax increases that went into effect this year may slow down consumer spending and drive up prices. Recent reports have painted an improving picture in retail sales, manufacturing, the long-beleaguered housing market and even the jobs front.
The US Labor Department issued its monthly report on the job market for February on Friday, boosting stocks with the news that the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low. The jobless rate slipped to 7.7 percent last month, according to the report, matching a level not seen since December 2008. In January, the unemployment rate rose for the first time since the recession, but most analysts saw it as a temporary blip and expected job gains to continue. Friday's report offers evidence of the validity of that sentiment. Stocks, meanwhile, have been flirting with all-time highs since last week, when the Dow Jones industrial average topped 14,000 for the first time in five years.
The US Labor Department reported Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits were lower than economists had predicted last week. First-time filers slipped by 27,000, the report showed, to 341,000 during the week that ended February 9th. In a recent Bloomberg News survey, none of the 49 economists that took part expected a decline that large and a handful expected a slight gain. Perhaps even better news is that Labor Dept. officials attributed little of the decline in claims on recent events like Hurricane Sandy and blizzards in the Northeast. This suggests that the improvement is caused by underlying improvement in the job market, thought of by many economists as the final hurdle to an increase in the pace of recovery in the broader economy.
The US Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added a worse-than-expected 157,000 jobs in January as millions of Americans continued to struggle through unemployment and underemployment. Investors were pleased, however, with the agency's revisions to data for the last few months of 2012 which showed an extra 335,000 jobs were created than initially reported. Combines with a series of mostly positive corporate earnings reports, the revisions buoyed investors to the point that both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 reached 5-year highs and are flirting with their highest levels ever.
The US Labor Department reported Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits slipped to their lowest level in five years last week, offering a gleam of optimism for the nation's long-beleaguered job market. According to the report, claims fell by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted total of 335,000. The decline represented the biggest one-week drop in claims since February 2010 and the total was the lowest since January 2008. The previous week's figure, meanwhile, was revised to show an extra 1,000 claims than were initially reported.
The US Labor Department reported Thursday that initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 371,000 in the first full week of 2013, surging 4,000 from the prior week's total. The number of continuing claims, or those receiving benefits beyond the first week, fell by 127,000 to 3.11 million. The continuing claims figure is now at its lowest level since spring 2008, but still 750,000 below levels seen in 2006. Economists caution that jobless claims figures can be tricky around the holidays, as office closings around the country force the Labor Department to estimate claims for some areas, leading to hefty revisions in the weeks following the holidays. The initial claims number for the week ending January 4th, for example, was revised downward by 5,000.
The US Labor Department reported Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000. The level is consistent with moderate job market growth, according to economists, with the official jobs report for December expected on Friday. The figure was higher than projections offered by economists in a recent Bloomberg News poll, which called for a consensus total of 360,000, and was a surge from the prior week's total of 362,000.
The US Labor Department reported Friday that the private sector added 146,000 jobs last month, driving the nation's unemployment rate to its lowest level in four years. The report drove stocks higher on the day, though some economists warned that the drop in jobless rate was primarily caused by about 350,000 Americans giving up on finding work. Nonetheless, the jobs gained were nearly double the consensus estimate from economists in a recent Bloomberg poll and the decline in jobless rate was surprising given that the economists had expected a slight rise.