Entries in Unemployment Rate (43)


Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.1% as 96K Jobs Added in August

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, falling short of expectations, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.  

Economists had expected to see around 125,000 jobs added in August.

The government also revised the number of jobs added in June and July, reducing the total by 41,000.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 8.1 percent.  Economists predicted it would have remained unchanged at 8.3 percent.

August marks the 43rd month in a row the economy has slogged along with joblessness above 8 percent.

 Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Unemployment Rates Showcased in Convention States

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As the Democratic National Convention kicks off today in Charlotte, N.C.,  President Obama must make his case for a second term against a backdrop of 8.3 percent national unemployment, and the rate in the state that is hosting the DNC, where an even higher percentage are looking for work.

North Carolina’s unemployment rate was as high as 11.4 percent in January and February 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s unemployment rate is still well above average at 9.6 percent and remains above pre-recession levels.

Here’s an economic snapshot of states where recent political conventions took place, including the conventions for the last presidential election using the most recent monthly unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and foreclosure data from RealtyTrac.

The Democratic National Convention was held in Denver in August 2008 and the Republican National Convention took place in St. Paul, Minn., the following month.

North Carolina
Unemployment rate
July 2012: 9.6 percent
July 2008: 6.6 percent
July 2008: 4,303
July 2012: 2,957 (1 in every 1,463 homes)
Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Charlotte
June 2008: 131.92
June 2012: 112.95

Unemployment rate
July 2012: 8.8 percent
July 2008: 6.2 percent
July 2008: 45,884
July 2012: 25,534 (1 in every 352 homes)
Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Tampa
June 2008: 175.13
June 2012: 132.25

Unemployment rate
July 2008: 5.2 percent
July 2012: 8.3 percent
July 2008: 5,376
July 2012:  2,875 (1 in every 770 homes)
Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Denver
June 2008: 130.16
June 2012: 129.03

Unemployment rate
July 2008: 5.8 percent
July 2012: 5.8 percent
July 2008: 1, 671
July 2012: 2,278 (1 in every 1,030 homes)
Case-Shiller Home Price Index, Minneapolis
June 2008: 141.96
June 2012: 118.34

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Labor Day 2012: Where The Jobs Are

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With the U.S. unemployment rate stuck at 8.3 percent, the job market can best be described as weak in most parts of the country and for many industries. But well-paid jobs are available, and some employers have positions they can’t fill.

Your personal jobs market may be entirely different than the one your neighbor is facing.

“There are certain sectors where you can get a job, an attractive job,” says Brian Hamilton, CEO of the financial information firm Sageworks. “Anything around health care, pharmaceutical businesses, biotech, software companies, information services.”

“If I’m looking for a job it would be in one of those mega-growth industries that are just growing independent from recessionary cycles.”

But nearly all of those jobs require some level of skill or expertise.

“Having a college education really is the best umbrella in the economic storm,” says Jamie Merisotis of the non-profit Lumina Foundation. “Some form of post-secondary education has really been the difference for most people in the modern economy.”

A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the best-paying jobs between now and 2020 will be offered to people who have technical or trade skills as well as those with master’s or nursing degrees.

Job losses are expected to continue for low-skilled factory workers.

Since the 2008 recession “virtually all of the job loss has been for people who had a high school diploma or less,” says Jamie Merisotis. “Virtually all of the job growth has been for people with a bachelors degree, an associate degree or some other form of other post-secondary credential.”

Technology and globalization are responsible for sweeping changes throughout the economy.

“We are moving more and more towards an information and software way to operate,” says  Hamilton. “Any position that you can get involving technology, software, gathering information or processing data” is likely to lead to a well-paid job with good prospects.

“Health care really got through the recession pretty much unscathed,” says Michael Erwin, a senior executive at “We continue to see jobs added as the population continues to age. So that is a great place to look.”

Not only doctors and nurses will be needed by the expanding health care industry. New financial, food services and marketing jobs will be added “pretty much across the board,” says Erwin.

Since 2007 some of the deepest job losses have come in home construction. But the worst of the long deep housing slump may be over. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, “Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved for a fourth consecutive month in August.” The index is at its highest level since February of 2007.

Made in the USA is making a modest comeback as well. But the factories of today are very different places than when thousands of workers were needed to operate all kinds of machines. More than ever robots are playing a role. New positions in manufacturing are largely for employees with design, technical and computer skills.

You are definitely seeing an uptick in the number of jobs being added back to manufacturing,” says Erwin. “When the recession hit that was one of the industries that was hit the hardest.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


163,000 Jobs Added in July; Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.3%

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs last month, exceeding expectations, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.

The figure is the biggest increase since February and more than double the amount of positions that were added in June, 80,000.  Economists had expected to see around 100,000 jobs added to the economy in July.

"One hundred sixty-three thousand jobs added to payrolls was more than I expected and more than the consensus," Hugh Johnson, the chairman and chief economist of Hugh Johnson Advisors, told ABC News Radio.

"Maybe, just maybe, cross your fingers, we're getting back to adding to payrolls at the level we really want to see, something between 150,000 to 200,000 jobs, that's what you'd really like to see at this stage of the very sluggish economic recovery," he added.

But the unemployment rate didn't fare as well.  That number ticked up slightly to 8.3 percent as more people sought work.

"Although we added 163,000, we weren't able to absorb all of the new entrants to the labor force and as a result, the unemployment rate went up from 8.2 to 8.3 percent," Johnson said.

Economists had expected it would remain unchanged at 8.2 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


80,000 Jobs Added in June; Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 8.2%

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. employers added 80,000 jobs last month, falling short of expectations, the Labor Department announced Friday morning.

Economists had expected to see around 90,000 positions added in June, higher than the 69,000 jobs added in May, but lower than what is needed for a full economic recovery from the last recession that began with the mortgage meltdown in 2008.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 8.2 percent.

Before Friday's jobs report, there were two pieces of positive employment data this week.

Private payroll tracker ADP reported on Thursday that the U.S. added 176,000 private jobs in June -- more than expected -- following a revised 136,000 jobs added in May.

Also, the number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in six weeks, falling 14,000 to 374,000 seasonally adjusted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


June Jobs Report Expected to Show Struggling Unemployment Picture

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Labor Department's June jobs report -- the most closely-watched economic number leading up to the presidential election -- will be released on Friday and economists don't expect much summer sunshine in the nation's unemployment picture.

Economists expect that employers added around 90,000 jobs in June, higher than the 69,000 jobs added in May, but lower than what is needed for a full economic recovery from the last recession that began with the mortgage meltdown in 2008.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will report both seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted unemployment figures, accounting for temporary summer jobs.

"There's a lot of uncertainty in June's number because of the end of the school year," Scott Brown, chief economist with Raymond James, said.  "Seasonal adjustment is pretty significant."

Prior to seasonal adjustment, the economy could see 450,000 jobs added, with the addition of students getting work and jobs related to the summer travel season.

"Those may be a bit lower than expected, so I think the risks are tilted toward the downside this go around," Brown said.

In addition to accounting for the number of added summer jobs, the bureau also must tote up the number of jobs lost for the summer.

Brown said before seasonal adjustment, the economy could see a 850,000 drop in public and private education jobs due to the end of the school year.

With a current unemployment rate of 8.2 percent and 12.7 million unemployed persons in the country, Brown said 125,000 to 130,000 added jobs are needed just to absorb the growth from the working-age population.  Economists expect the unemployment rate to hold steady at 8.2 percent for June.

"At this point we're still running in place, growing just enough to absorb growth in the population but not enough to recover those job market losses during the downturn," Brown said.

Brown expects that around 100,000 non-farm payroll jobs and 115,000 private payroll jobs, seasonally adjusted, were added in June.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Federal Reserve Expects Higher Unemployment than Previously Forecast

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Reserve expects unemployment to be higher at the end of the year than it originally forecast back in April.

The Fed now expects unemployment to be between 8 percent and 8.2 percent by the end of the year; previously, the unemployment rate was forecast to be between 7.8 percent and 8 percent.

GDP growth is expected to be slower, as well.  The Fed now forecasts growth of between 1.9 percent and 2.4 percent by the end of the year; previously, its expected growth between 2.4 percent and 2.9 percent

Troubles in Europe are one of the big reasons the Fed cites for its gloomier forecast.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Latest Unemployment Report: By the Numbers

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Here are eight key figures from the Labor Department’s jobs report for May:

12.7 Million: The number of people currently unemployed in the United States.

Out of the 155 million people in the civilian labor force, this figure has not changed significantly from the beginning of this year, when it was 12.8 million.

5.4 Million: The number of long-term unemployed in May (those who’ve been jobless for 27 weeks or more), which rose from 5.1 million, accounting for 42.8 percent of the unemployed.

28,000: Number of construction jobs lost in May.

The construction industry has shrunk since the start of the job market recovery, said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institute, and has continued to shrink in the past four months. Job losses in the construction sector occurred in specialty trade contractors, which can include plumbing, electrical work, site prep (-18,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000). Since reaching a low in January 2011, employment in construction has shown little change on net, the Labor Department reported.

13,000: Government jobs lost

While there had been hope that the layoffs in the government sector were over, the state and federal sectors each lost 5,000 jobs. Included in the latter were 2,900 U.S. Postal Service jobs lost. Local government lost 3,000 jobs.

33,000: People hired to work in health care.

The health care sector was one of three industries that saw relatively notable job gains. In May, those hired to work in doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, among other health settings, accounted for more than half of jobs added. Since December 2009, payroll increases in this sector have accounted for almost a quarter of all private-sector employment gains, said Burtless.  Over the year, health care employment has risen by 340,000.

36,000: Transportation and warehousing jobs added over the month.

Employment gains in transit and ground passenger transportation (+20,000) and in couriers and messengers (+5,000) followed job losses in those industries in April. But employment in both industries has shown little net change over the year. In May, truck transportation added 7,000 jobs.

16,000: Jobs added in wholesale trade.

Defined as business sales and inventories to governments and institutions by Investopedia, wholesale trade includes durable and nondurable goods. The industry is the other side of retail trade, which includes sales of cars and other consumer products. Since reaching an employment low in May 2010, wholesale trade has added 184,000 jobs.

12,000: Manufacturing jobs added.

Employment in this sector continued to trend up in May following a similar change in April (+9,000). Job gains averaged 41,000 per month in the first quarter of this year. Since its most recent low in January 2010, manufacturing employment has increased by 495,000. Since December 2009, manufacturing has accounted for 12 percent of private sector job gains.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Employers Added 69,000 Jobs in May; Unemployment Rate Up to 8.2%

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The nation's jobs picture dimmed in May as employers added just 69,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent. The latest numbers are a continuation of a long, slow employment recovery that began 33 months ago.

Economists had expected 150,000 new jobs and the jobless rate to stay at 8.1 percent, according to Bloomberg. Stocks, which had their worst month in two years in May, fell on the news with the Dow Jones industrials set to open down nearly 190 points.

Last month, the Labor Department reported 77,000 jobs were added in April, revised down Friday from 115,000 for an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent, a drop of one-tenth of a point from the previous month.

Economists generally agree that a healthy economy must create at least 200,000 jobs a month and the unemployment rate needs to fall to six percent or below -- something the U.S. hasn't seen since before the financial meltdown of 2007-2008.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Ups the Ante on Desired Unemployment Rate

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(O’HARA, Pa.) -- Mitt Romney raised his expectations for what the unemployment rate should be on Friday, suggesting that “anything over 4 percent is not cause of celebration.”

“Just this morning there was some news that came across the wire that said that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.1 percent,” said Romney during a campaign event in a Pittsburgh suburb. “And normally that would be cause for celebration. But in fact anything over 8 percent, anything near 8 percent, anything over 4 percent is not cause for celebration.”

Unemployment hasn’t been that low in over a decade. In December 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, but in the twelve years since it has been higher.

Friday’s jobs report indicated that the unemployment rate had dropped slightly from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April, a number Romney said during an interview on Fox & Friends was “terrible” and “disappointing.”

During that same interview, Romney suggested that instead of seeing just 115,000 new jobs created last month, as the report showed, Americans should be “seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs created per month.”

But at this campaign event, Romney omitted the 500,000 number from his remarks, saying only that the number of jobs created was “well beneath what it was expected to be.”

“It should have been in the hundreds of thousands, but it wasn’t,” said Romney.

A spokesman for the Romney campaign did not immediately respond to clarify whether Romney was still referring to that 500,000 number when he said “hundreds of thousands.”

A closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that the economy has only added more than 500,000 jobs a handful of times in history, the most recent occasion being in May 2010, when 516,000 jobs were added under the Obama administration.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio