Really BAD News. Jobless rate goes down as many in U.S. simply give up on employment
Unemployment the lowest in three years as many people forego looking for work
Good news: U.S. unemployment is the lowest it's been in three years. Bad news: It's because record numbers of Americans have simply stopped looking for work in an economy that has failed to create new jobs. Furthermore, according to statistics, the last time job creation was this stagnant, the Andrew Sisters sang on the radio and folks like Hitler and Mussolini were still making headlines.
According to statistics, the last time job creation was this stagnant, the Andrew Sisters sang on the radio and folks like Hitler and Mussolini were still making headlines.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says unemployment fell to 8.1 percent in April, the lowest since January 2009. The decline was mainly due to 342,000 people leaving the labor force, meaning the BLS had stopped counting them as unemployed. The number of employed people in the nation actually fell by 169,000.
Job growth was lower than the 170,000 or so that economists had expected. The BLS revised upward the number of jobs that were created in February and March, adding about 53,000 additional jobs to payrolls.
About 12.5 million people remain unemployed. A record 88.4 million people are considered "not in the labor force," according to the BLS. The percentage of the work-age population either working or looking for work has dropped to 63.6 percent, the lowest since December 1981.
"It's hard to see the good news here," David Semmens, senior U.S. economist at Standard Chartered wrote in a research note.
The sluggish recovery is definitely a campaign issue to the re-election chances of U.S. President Barack Obama this fall and a boon to his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. In response, the White House pointed out that the job recovery is the legacy of a recession that started on the Bush administration's watch.
"Much more remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and the deep recession," Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers wrote in a statement. "It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007."
Many economists tend to believe such a sluggish recovery was perhaps inevitable following the bursting of the housing bubble and a severe recession.
"While some would like to attribute the lack of hiring to uncertainty and regulatory roadblocks, the fact is that demand for goods and services simply has not reached a level that warrants accelerated hiring," John Challenger, CEO of consulting firm Challenger Gray & Christmas wrote in an email. "In areas, where demand has improved, so has hiring."
Hard fact: U.S. payrolls are still nearly 5 million jobs lower than they were when the recession began. It's debatable that the current labor-market recovery has been arguably the most sluggish since World War II -- though the job losses in the recession were also the deepest.
More than five million people have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more, and the average length of unemployment is more than 39 weeks, according to the BLS.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: U.S. unemployment, statistics, job searches
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