According to a survey of U.S. households, the unemployment rate is dropping at the fastest pace in fifty years, settling at 9 percent. This is the lowest rate in nearly two years.
The report for January is a little less rosy, as the number of new jobs came to a standstill. Employer’s added only 36,000 jobs last month, much less than the 145,000 expected by economists, and the weakest since September.
One staggering unemployment statistic is that of military personnel. Unemployment for Vets stood at 15.2% with the highest cause being employers are afraid of the military personnel will be redeployed.
The data studied at Brookings Institution gives “a puzzling and mixed picture of the health of the current job market”, according to Gary Burtless, senior fellow.
On the one hand, unemployment has already fallen to a level not expected to be attained until the end of this year, and by only the second month. However, on the other hand, January was much less productive for job seekers than the previous four months.
More than likely, the record snowstorms in the east and some December seasonal jobs had an effect on January employment statistics, as it cut into construction employment, resulting in 32,000 jobs lost. Transportation and warehousing also suffered, showing losses of 38,000 jobs. Neil Dutta, economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch commented, “The thumbprints of the weather were all over this report. Hiring was suppressed last month and will probably rebound this month”.
According to other recent reports, factories are producing more, retail sales are going up, and less people are requesting unemployment benefits, giving a picture of a rising economy.
The White House, while cautiously welcoming the news, refrained from celebration given the mixed reports.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned it would take “several years” to return to normal levels of unemployment. Last month he was more specific and predicted it may take as long as four or five years to reach previous levels of around 5.5 to 6 percent.What people are talking about.Story about graph of unemployment this year, data showing why women are not in stem, nezaposlenost u hrvatskoj 2001 -2011.