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Friday, February 4, 2011

Jobless rate down to 9.0% according to BLS, Gallup states U.S. underemployment rate at 18.9%

Official portrait of Federal Reserve Chairman ...Image via Wikipedia
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke believes that the true
 U.S. jobless rate will take years
to recover.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on February 4th that the unemployment rate fell .04 percentage points for the second straight month to 9 percent in January. Meanwhile, while the U.S. economy added 36,000 new jobs, far less than the 250,000 jobs per month noted by economist to define an true employment recovery.

The report is made up of two different surveys by BLS, which economists say eventually converge over time. A household survey determined that 600,000 nationwide unemployed people found jobs during January. The second is a survey of businesses showed weak job creation in January 2010.

According to the report, private-sector employers added 50,000 jobs in January while government employment decreased by 14,000. Employment rose in manufacturing, which added 49,000 jobs on the month, and in retail trade but fell in construction, transportation and warehousing. Employment in most other major industries was unchanged. 

Contrasting the figures from BLS, a survey conducted by the Gallup Research Group from January 2-31, 2011, found the unemployment rate to be 9.8 percent. Worse for the nations’ employment market, the Gallup survey found that the underemployment rate –measuring the percentage of America’s working part-time but desiring full-time work, stood at a 18.9 percent. The unemployment rate, according to Gallup, improved .1 percent from December 2010, which it was 19.0 percent.

Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that the labor force was unchanged in January and, the amount of people jobless for longer than six months fell to 6.2 million, or 43.8 percent of the unemployed. Regardless, according to BLS there are at least 13.9 million unemployed people in the United States.

According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the unemployment rate is likely to remain above normal levels for several years.

"Recent data do provide some grounds for optimism on the employment front; for example, initial claims for unemployment insurance have generally been trending down, and indicators of job openings and firms' hiring plans have improved”, Bernanke cited to RTT News.
"Even so, with output growth likely to be moderate for awhile and with employers reportedly still reluctant to add to their payrolls, it will be several years before the unemployment rate has returned to a more normal level”, he stated.
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