Economy Adds 227,000 Jobs, Jobless Rate Unchanged

economy job report Labor DepartmentBy Christopher S. Rugaber

WASHINGTON -- U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in January to complete three of the best months of hiring since the recession began. The unemployment rate was unchanged, largely because more people streamed into the workforce.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent last month, the lowest in three years.

And hiring in January and December was better than first thought. The government revised those figures to show an additional 61,000 jobs.

The economy has now generated an average of 245,000 jobs in the past three months. The only better stretch since the recession began was in early 2010.

That bodes well for President Barack Obama's re-election chances, although he's still likely to face the highest unemployment rate of any post-war president.

Stock futures rose slightly after the report was released. Dow Jones industrial average futures, which were up 10 points before the report, added 10 points when it came out. Standard & Poor's 500 futures were up one point before the report and tacked on two.

Last month's hiring was broad-based and in both high-paying and lower-paying industries. Manufacturing, mining, and professional services, such as accounting, all added jobs.

Governments at all levels cut only 6,000 jobs in February and 1,000 in January, after a revision. That's a welcome change from the heavy layoffs by cash-strapped states and cities over the past two years. Last year alone they cut an average of 22,000 jobs per month.

Nearly a half-million people began looking for work last month, and most found jobs, the report said. That's a sign of growing optimism in the job market, as many people who had given up on looking for work came off the sidelines to search for jobs.

That also counters a troubling trend: a key reason why the unemployment rate has dropped since last year is that many out-of-work people have stopped looking for work. Only people without jobs who are actively seeking one are counted as unemployed.

A sustained rise in the number of people looking for jobs is a good sign, even if the unemployment rate doesn't change.

Friday's report comes as a host of data points to an improving economy and job market. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits have fallen about 14 percent in six months. Though they ticked up last week, average applications remain near a four-year low.

On Wednesday, payroll provider ADP said businesses added 216,000 employees last month, up from January's total. The ADP report doesn't include governments, which have been cutting jobs.

And service companies, which employ most Americans, are expanding at a faster pace, according to a private survey released this week. A gauge of employment shows that service firms are still hiring, particularly in the mining, educational services, and transportation and warehousing industries.

The service sector includes everything from restaurants and hotels to health care firms and financial service companies.

Some companies must hire because they can't squeeze more output from their current staffs. Last year, worker productivity rose at its slowest pace in nearly 25 years. That means companies will likely have to add staff to meet growing demand.

Other figures point to the same conclusion. The average work week was unchanged at 34.5 hours. That's close to the pre-recession total and suggests that companies will have to hire more workers as business improves, rather than adding more hours.

Next: U.S. Hiring Grows As Companies Hit Limits With Workers

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Stories from CareerBliss

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

As usual, full disclosure is not on the menu of the business and financial sector; or the people that report it.

The truth behind the numbers is this:

The writer states, "Rising labor costs could force businesses to raise prices. Still, some economists say higher prices wouldn't likely be sustained as long as nearly 13 million Americans remain unemployed and others aren't being paid enough to keep up with inflation."

I say, EXCUSE ME!! Businesses are over-contributing to the jobless situation, then taking advantage of it to increase profits.

Follow me closely here because I am watching this happen at my workplace:
Through massive layoffs due to slowing sales, they pared down the labor force to LESS than a bare minimum. Then the company plays the shell game; shifting around worker positions and titles to reduce their wages; therefore increasing profits for the stockholders (How else could stockholders continue to make even larger returns and executives make larger bonuses during a recession?). Workers put up with the cuts in pay just to keep their jobs. Next the companies demand higher productivity from those same reduced wage workers (now one worker is doing the work of two or three); and again, the workers put up with it just to keep a job. Through all this, the price of most all goods went up, while low level workers' wages went down. The continuing "inflation" is totally stockholder driven. Their demand for that double-digit return on their investments (translation: greed) has put a stranglehold on the low to middle wage earner while they make more than ever before. So there's your 'DUH-HUH' to the statement from the economists in the second sentence.
Then the article goes on to say:
"Companies are likely to cover the higher labor costs by trimming their profits rather than raising the prices of their products," said Richard DeKaser, a senior economist at the Parthenon Group.

I say: You know what? I REALLY feel sorry for them (NOT!). If they would have not been so greedy in the first place, we would not have had as deep a recession because less people would have been laid off, wages would not have gone down as far, therefore people could have better afforded to continue to purchase products and services, and the stockholders would have made more returns in the long run.

March 09 2012 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We will continue to see incremental increases in employment and huge swaths of the population on welfare, phony disability, and vastly under employed while Obama is President. We need a President Romney to bring us back to fiscal sanity and full employment.

March 09 2012 at 1:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

More teabuggers getting upset Obama will win landslide come november. That's the way it goes. Great job numbers. I expect this to continue for another 4 yrs.

March 09 2012 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kingstonjabwoy's comment

WHAT????? Great job numbers? What story are you referring to?? It can't be this article. How in the HELL are these number great?? Get a life loser... go back to bed.

March 09 2012 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to eurocardriver000's comment

don't **** with gay prostitutes!

June 12 2012 at 12:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

hey.... don't **** with me......

June 12 2012 at 12:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

These job numbers mean nothing as the debt is way out of control and these are low entry paying jobs. With outsourcing as bad as it is, the unemployment rate doesn't mean the same anymore - plus they spin the numbers and leave most of the people out of the count. What about the massive debt, no balanced budget in 1,200 days, high gas/fuel/electricity prices. Outratgeous grocery prices. These are the things that matter in someone's pocket - not some fabricated number spun by liberals.

March 09 2012 at 1:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This is not a problem that Obama or any president (of any party) can solve in 3 or 30 years. Until we stop outsourcing our jobs to other countries with cheap labor, there will be no jobs for Americans.

March 09 2012 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to phyllru's comment

My point is.... Obama will never create solid 'Private' jobs. He is only interested in creating jobs in the 'public' sector... Government jobs. I do agree, I question whether 1 man can do this job, but I assure you, it is NOT Obama. Don't you see the similarities with Obama relating to the Carter days? It's the same exact results. Radical changes, gas prices going through the roof, forgein relations turning into a comic book story, etc.... That is the same exact results Carter got.. THE SAME !!!! If you aren't familar with the Carter days, read up on his legacy and the pain he caused the country. You will see a mirror image of that administration.

March 09 2012 at 12:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Obama will NOT get this country where it needs to be.... THAT'S A FACT !!! He has done, and continues to do, so many radical changes that the country cannot handle it. Obama-Care was the worst mistake in history. Why the hell should I be paying for someone else's health insurance coverage.... that's what it boils down to. It's just like Social Security, throwing $$ into a pool for a program to use. FORGET THAT. Vote for ANYONE other than this radical dictator. He has NO CLUE what the heck he is doing in the office. The housing bubble started in 1998 with Clinton. Congress had no firm rules & regulations for this. That is why it got out of control and popped. The same goes for the banking side. With Dodd & Frank in the chairs, there was so much corruption going on, nothing got accomplished. Why do you think Dodd is living in CA instead of Greenwich, CT? He's head of the Hollywood Association. Frank will soon join him I bet. These idiots jumped ship to avoid a legal battle. Please people, wake up and see the light. Vote these idiots out of power NOW !!!!!!

March 09 2012 at 12:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Main stream media is a joke- lets count the workers who have stopped looking for work
Be real

March 09 2012 at 12:26 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

we can expect to see stories like this because this is an election year, it does nothing for me when I stop at the gas pump, Grocery store income stays the same and prices continue to go up.

when gas prices go up goods and services go up.

March 09 2012 at 12:05 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I am detecting cracks in Obamanites when they look at their own checkbooks....inflation 10% per year, $5.00/gal gas, 0% interest on savings, stagnent wages, 20% tuition increases per year in college, 25% per year increase in health care deductables and premiums. As Obama weak handling of the economy has real impact on their wallets, they might start questioning these fake numbers as regular hard working Americans already do.

March 09 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to caddone1's comment

Obama is WAY over his head sitting in that high chair. The economy will NEVER get to a full recovery with this idiot in office.... NEVER !!!!!!

March 09 2012 at 12:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What a joke!

March 09 2012 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what a lying crack smoking junkie looser of a liberal party pres and associates

March 09 2012 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web