Saturday, February 05, 2011

EconomicsUSA: Unemployment: Fed govt releases job statistics no one believes

Washington Post (Feb4,2k11)

Unemployment rate plunges to 9% in January, but only 36,000 jobs added

The unemployment rate dropped sharply last month to 9 percent, the lowest level in nearly two years. But the economy generated only 36,000 net new jobs, the fewest in four months. (Feb. 4)

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics | The Washington Post - February 4, 2011

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 4, 2011; 10:11 PM

Unemployment fell sharply for a second straight month in January, according to a government report released Friday that offers reason for optimism about the labor market even as the prospects for American workers remain uncertain.

The jobless rate fell to 9 percent in January from 9.4 percent in December and 9.8 percent in November. In a promising sign, the improvement in January reflected the success of nearly 600,000 more people in finding work. By contrast, the rate fell in December in part because people had dropped out of the labor force, too discouraged perhaps to even look for work.
Still, many economists find the two-month drop, the largest since 1958, too good to be true and expect it to edge back up in the months ahead.

The decrease in the unemployment rate offers little comfort, in particular, because a separate survey of employers released Friday showed that job growth was anemic in January. Employers added only 36,000 jobs last month, a quarter of what forecasters had expected. The disappointing showing was probably caused in part by snowstorms across a huge swath of the nation.

The new findings themselves add up to a wintry mix, and economists were struggling to discern the true state of the job market.

-- WaPo article intro posted by EconoMix

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