U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 9%; Job Growth Remains Sluggish

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 9.0 percent in January, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning.

Nonfarm payroll employment only increased by 36,000, so the declining unemployment rate is attributable to a decrease in the number of people looking for work.


For those looking for positive signs, manufacturing payrolls were up 49,000 in January, and retail employers added 27,500 jobs.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.8 percent), whites (8.0 percent), and Hispanics (11.9 percent) declined in January. The unemployment rates for adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (25.7 percent), and blacks (15.7 percent) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

After accounting for the annual adjustment to the population controls, the employment-population ratio (58.4 percent) rose in January, and the labor force participation rate (64.2 percent) was unchanged.

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis unveiled a new online tool called “My Next Move.” It is aimed at providing jobseekers with information on more than 900 occupations, as well as local job openings and training opportunities in a simple, user-friendly format.

Accessed at http://mynextmove.dol.gov, “My Next Move” is intended to assist all jobseekers. It may be especially useful for students, young adults and other first-time workers as they explore potential careers based on their interests. The new tool complements the department’s “mySkills myFuture” site at http://mySkillsmyFuture.org, which is designed to help those with previous work experience match their existing skills to new occupations.

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