WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, the most in two years, the strongest evidence to date that the economy is picking up after a brutal winter slowed growth.
The Labor Department also said Friday that the unemployment rate sank to 6.3 percent, its lowest level since September 2008, from 6.7 percent in March. But the drop occurred because the number of people working or seeking work fell sharply. People aren’t counted as unemployed if they’re not looking for a job.
In addition to the burst of hiring in April, employers added more jobs in February and March than previously estimated. The job totals for those two months were revised up by a combined 36,000.
Employers have now added an average of 238,000 jobs the past three months, up from 167,000 in the previous three.
WASHINGTON – A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate in November to a five-year low of 7 percent. The surprisingly robust job gain suggested that the economy may have begun to accelerate.
It also fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will scale back its economic stimulus when it meets later this month.
Employers added 203,000 jobs last month after adding 200,000 in October, the Labor Department said Friday. November’s job gain helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October.
The economy has now generated a four-month average of 204,000 jobs from August through November. That’s up from 159,000 a month from April through July.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers have yet to start hiring aggressively — a trend the Federal Reserve will weigh in deciding this month whether to slow its bond buying and, if so, by how much.
Employers added 169,000 jobs in August but many fewer in June and July than previously thought, the Labor Department said Friday. Combined, June, July and August amounted to the weakest three-month stretch of job growth in a year.
The unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent, the lowest in nearly five years. But it fell because more Americans stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The proportion of Americans working or looking for work reached its lowest point in 35 years.
All told, the report adds up to a mixed picture of the U.S. job market: Hiring is steady but subpar. Much of the hiring is in lower-paying occupations. And many people are giving up on the job market in frustration.
U.S. employers stepped up hiring in June, adding 195,000 jobs, above the median forecast in a Reuters poll, Labor Department data showed on Friday.
The unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent.
Economists were expecting 165,000 new jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey, slightly below the 175,000 positions created in May. The government on Friday revised payrolls for April and May to show 70,000 more jobs created than previously reported.
The increase could draw the Federal Reserve closer to implementing a plan to start scaling back its massive monetary stimulus later this year.
(AP) The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, a gain that shows employers are hiring at a still-modest but steady pace despite government spending cuts and higher taxes.
The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April, the Labor Department said Friday. The rate rose because more people began looking for work, a healthy sign. About three-quarters found jobs.
The government revised the job figures for the previous two months. April’s gain was lowered to 149,000 from 165,000. March’s was increased slightly to 142,000 from 138,000. The net loss was 12,000 jobs.
Stocks jumped when the market opened at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, an hour after the report was released. The Dow Jones industrial average surged 150 points in the first hour of trading.
WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.
The report today from the Labor Department was a reassuring sign that the U.S. job market is improving despite higher taxes and government spending cuts that took effect this year.
The government revised up its estimate of job gains in February and March by a combined 114,000. It now says employers added 332,000 jobs in February and 138,000 in March. The economy has created an average of 208,000 jobs a month from November through April — above the 138,000 added in the previous six months.
The number of unemployed fell 83,000 to 11.7 million.
Today’s alarming financial news is the rise in first-time unemployment claims to 385,000, up 28,000 and also above expectations. The U.S. Labor Department report shows the labor market is weakening, not that it was anything resembling strong in the first place. It makes me want to cry, because every piece of news like this makes me even more distraught about the future of the 4.8 million long-term unemployed.
I’ve covered unemployment issues or more than a decade and the future for those who are out of work beyond the normal six months funded by state benefits is very bleak. These aren’t lazy bums, but desperate people who are financially and emotionally devastated by their situation.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. The government said Superstorm Sandy had only a minimal effect on the figures.
Editor’s note: By comparison, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for July 2012 was 7.9%.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate rose in July for the fourth month in a row to 9.8 percent, a record high since 1977, according to data released by the state Department of Labor on Thursday.
July’s jobless rate in the Garden State was up from 9.6 percent in June and from 9.4 percent in July 2011, the preliminary numbers showed.
Democrats seized on the data to blast Republican Governor Chris Christie‘s self-proclaimed “comeback” for New Jersey.
“There is no way to interpret this other than bad,” said New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, in a statement. “What I want to see is this administration admit it is failing in terms of getting people back to work.”
July’s hiring was the best since February. Still, the economy has added an average of 151,000 jobs a month this year, roughly the same as last year’s pace. That’s not enough to satisfy the 12.8 million Americans who are unemployed.
The government uses two surveys to measure employment. A survey of businesses showed job gains. The unemployment rate comes from a survey of households, which showed fewer people had jobs. Economists say the business survey is more reliable.
USPS service delivery truck in a residential area of San Francisco, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for a first-ever default on billions in payments due to the Treasury, adding to widening uncertainty about the mail agency’s solvency as first-class letters plummet and Congress deadlocks on ways to stem the red ink.
With cash running perilously low, two legally required payments for future postal retirees’ health benefits – $5.5 billion due Wednesday, and another $5.6 billion due in September – will be left unpaid, the mail agency said Monday. Postal officials said they also are studying whether they may need to delay other obligations. In the coming months, a $1.5 billion payment is due to the Labor Department for workers compensation, which for now it expects to make, as well as millions in interest payments to the Treasury.
Non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, falling short of forecasts
U.S. employers hired at a dismal pace in June, raising pressure on the Federal Reserve to do more to boost the economy and further imperiling President Barack Obama‘s chances of reelection in November.
The Labor Department said on Friday non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, falling short of forecasts though a tad higher than a revised May reading of 77,000.
For a third year, the economic recovery in the United States is floundering, stoking fears of a global slowdown as the European crisis escalates.
Last month, the nation’s employers added the fewest jobs in a year and the unemployment rate actually rose, the Labor Department reported Friday. May was not a fluke either. It was the third consecutive month of disappointing results.
The weakening recovery is a serious vulnerability for President Obama as he faces re-election and it provides traction to his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, who says the administration has not done enough to strengthen the economy. Because Washington remains deeply divided over how best to stimulate growth, the report increases the pressure on the Federal Reserve to take further action on its own.
The United States gained a net 69,000 jobs in May, for an average of 96,000 over each of the last three months. That is down from a 245,000 gain on average from December through February. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 in April, though largely because more people began looking for work. And there was more bad news: job gains that had been reported in March and April were revised downward.
BETHLEHEM STEEL PLANT AT SPARROWS POINT – NARA – 546882 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The owner of the financially ailing Sparrows Point steel plant is idling operations there, warning 1,975 workers Thursday that they would be laid off starting next month.
The news, which casts doubt on the future of the Baltimore County facility that was once owned by Bethlehem Steel, came as RG Steel is shopping the steel mill and its other assets to potential buyers.
RG Steel informed the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations that layoffs would begin June 4 and continue through June 18. The state said the company would be laying off 1,714 hourly and 261 salaried workers, losses that would be a significant blow to the economy.
For years, the plant has faced uncertainty before last-minute deals salvaged the mill. RG Steel is the latest owner to try to sustain steel production at the once-flourishing facility.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in March, down from a 12-month high of 8.3 percent in September.
Right now, jobless Pennsylvanians receive 26 weeks of state-funded benefits and, once that runs out, 47 weeks of federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation. The extended benefits provided 13 weeks of additional aid beyond that 47-week window.