Entries in Unemployment Rate (43)


Zero: US Employers Added No New Jobs In August

Peter Poulides/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Wall Street and Main Street will be waking up to some devastating economic news this morning: U.S. employers didn't add a single job to employment rolls in August.

While the unemployment rate was unchanged in August, according to the latest figures from the Department of Labor, a more accurate portrait of jobless America may be 16 percent to 20 percent unemployment, according to some experts.

Economists had been expecting 93,000 new jobs last month, down from 117,000 in July. The unemployment rate was expected to stay at 9.1 percent. The fact that no net new jobs were added in August was another in a string of disappointments for the economy.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor released a bit of good news ahead of the monthly jobs report. The number of first-time unemployment claims dropped by 12,000, to the adjusted rate of 409,000, from the previous week's revised figure of 421,000 for the week ending Aug. 27, according to the Department of Labor.

But a report from the White House announced the unemployment rate would not fall to 6 percent until 2016. "In sum, economic growth and job creation, while positive, have not been strong enough to bring down the unemployment rate to an acceptable level," according report from the Office of Management and Budget.

The unemployment rate when President Obama took office was 7.8 percent, according to Forbes.

Obama is scheduled to lay out his jobs plan before a joint session of Congress the evening of Sept. 8.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Thousands Camp Out for Job Fair as Jobless Rate Rises

Comstock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Thousands of unemployed people waited overnight, camping out in their business suits and office heels and braving the tormenting heat in Atlanta to stand in line for a job fair Thursday. Authorities treated 20 people for heat exhaustion as they struggled to keep the line moving and get people moved inside.

The incredible turnout at the job fair comes on the heels of the state labor commissioner's announcement that Georgia's jobless rate rose.

The state unemployment rate increased to 10.1 percent in July from 9.9 percent in June. The unemployment rate for African-Americans stands at 15.9 percent, far above the national rate of 9.1 percent.

July marks the 48th consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate.

The line was full of hopefuls who waited for hours in a line that wrapped around the Atlanta Technical College where the event was held.

The "For the People Jobs Initiative," hosted by U.S. Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson and sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, is a series of job fairs and town halls at some of the urban areas hit hardest by unemployment and the financial crisis.

The enormous turnout in Georgia created miles of traffic that clogged southwest Atlanta.

Thousands showed up for an opportunity to meet the 90 employers who attended the event, eager to jumpstart their job search. The fair provided job seminars such as resume writing and mortgage modification workshops.

The immense crowd at the two-day fair is another unneeded reminder of the dire state of the American economy.

"I believe the recent lack of leadership in Washington is a contributing factor to the overall lack of confidence in the economy," said Mark Butler, Georgia's labor commissioner. "Due to this lack of confidence, we are seeing a business community that is hesitant to make further investments in this economy."

The general inefficiency in Washington is precisely the reason why the Congressional Black Caucus launched the fair, said Mahen Gunaratna, a representative for Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who will host Miami's Job Initiative fair.

"The Congressional Black Caucus decided to take matters into their own hands," said Gunaratna. "They are tired of Republicans' inaction that prevents bills from moving forward. This is a real tangible opportunity for our constituents."

And the people in the lines have not yet given up despite the relentless weather, miles of traffic, lines and months of unemployment.

Two more "For the People Jobs Initiative" fairs are set to take place in Miami and Los Angeles later this month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


July Unemployment Falls to 9.1 Percent

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Employers added 117,000 jobs in July, a bit of good news in what has been a dismal series of economic reports this summer.

The unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent, but ABC News Radio reports the reduction in the unemployment rate is likely the result of people giving up looking for jobs -- and the number of jobs added would need to be double July's figures to prove any real improvement in the job market.

U.S. stocks have been in a tailspin leading up this report. They closed down 9 of the last 10 trading days, capped by a 513-point loss on the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday. The Dow has fallen 1,300 points since July 21, erasing all its gains for the year.

Economists were expecting 75,000 jobs to be added in July and unemployment to stay steady at 9.2 percent. Investors are clamoring for the Federal Reserve to undertake another round of economic stimulation, which has boosted stock prices in so-called quantitative easing programs since the financial meltdown in 2008.

In June, the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent after employers added just 18,000 jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Government Benefits Account for $2 of Every $10 Americans Receive

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Open your wallet. If you have a $10 bill inside it, you can thank the government for two of those dollars.

Government benefits like Social Security, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance accounted for nearly 20 percent of Americans’ income in the first quarter of 2011, according to Moody’s analysis of the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ statistics.

Some of the money from those benefits, though, will soon dry up as the stimulus funds that were pumped into federal and state programs in 2009 start to expire and deficit-reduction measures begin going into effect.

 “Things like the Recovery Act and employment benefits are having huge beneficial impacts that a lot of people don’t realize,” said Ethan Pollack, a senior policy analyst at the Economic Policy Institute. “When those programs end people will realize just how dependent they were on them.”

Pollack said the unemployment rate will likely spike in response to the reduced government funding because it will take money out of people’s pockets, causing a drop in spending and forcing more layoffs.

With the latest figures showing 9.2 percent unemployment, an uptick in the number of people out of work could mean bad news for the economy and for President Obama’s re-election.

But Brad Kemp, the director of economic research at Beacon Economics, argues the month-to-month rates are not as important as the overall trend.

“A single month‘s number does not a trend make,” Kemp said. “And that trend is going to continue to fall, but it is not going to be a smooth ride.”

Kemp pointed out that having 20 percent of disposable income coming from government benefits is still a small segment and while losing some of that money because of dried up stimulus funds would be detrimental in the short term, it would not have severe widespread consequences in the long term.

Since the recession began in 2008 government spending on social benefits programs has increased by $581 billion, according to BEA statistics. At the end of 2007, before the recession started, only $1.60 of your $10 bill would have been from the government.

Kemp said when stimulus money expires or debt-reduction measures go into effect there will “devastation to the individual, not to the society.”

“These are the people who want jobs that don’t have them and to those individuals it will be crushing,” Kemp said. “But does that mean the majority of society is going to fail? Does it mean it could slow an already slowly recovering economy? No.”

For example, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, used American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds in April 2009 to increase benefits for a family of four by $80 per month. When the stimulus money runs out in October of 2013, families will see their benefits instantly decrease by $61.

Pollack said the stimulus money should continue until the economy has fully recovered, which will not be until at least 2016.

“I think the economy is far from having been recovered enough,” Pollack said. “We think there should be six months of six percent unemployment. Then we should start deficit reduction.”

Pollack said it will be a “very huge hit to economic growth” if many of the proposed budget cuts took effect immediately.

 “If you were to design a perfect plan it would reduce the deficit over the next 10 to 20 years but would invest over the next two to three,” Pollack said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


June: Unemployment Rises to 9.2%, Employers Add Just 18,000 Jobs

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Falling well below economists' expectations, U.S. employers added just 18,000 jobs in June, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The nation’s unemployment rate, in turn, increased by one-tenth of a percent from 9.1 percent to 9.2 percent.

The private sector, which factors out government layoffs and hiring, saw just 57,000 workers added to payrolls, marking the worst monthly jobs growth from the private sector since May 2010.

Ahead of Friday's report, economists had predicted that 110,000 jobs would have been added last month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Signs Point to Encouraging Job Numbers for June

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Members of the Obama administration are keeping their fingers crossed about Friday morning's job numbers.

After months of steady improvement, the White House received a jolt four weeks ago when the Labor Department revealed that only 54,000 jobs were added during May, leaving the overall unemployment rate at 9.1 percent.

Economists blamed the paltry numbers on steep increases in gasoline prices, continued financial unrest in Europe and manufacturing disruptions caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Things could really be on the upswing if a report released Thursday by ADP turns out to be true.  The payroll processor says its records show that private sector employers added 157,000 jobs in June, about 100,000 more than economists had predicted for the month.

In another glimmer of hope, first-time unemployment claims fell last week to 418,000 from 432,000 the week before.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Employers Add 54K Jobs in May; Unemployment Up to 9.1% 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Unemployment ticked up in May to 9.1 percent as private employers added 54,000 jobs, far fewer than economists were expecting, capping a week of gloomy economic news.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the May unemployment figures Friday, and few were pleased given the string of negative economic reports.

Economists had expected more than 150,000 new jobs, and there was consensus that unemployment would edge down, not up. Nonfarm payrolls increased 54,000 last month, with private employment rising 83,000 -- the least since June. Government payrolls fell by 29,000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Dow Closes on a High Note to End the Week

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow closed up 55 points on Friday afternoon, with the Nasdaq adding 13 and the S&P gaining five for the week.

This comes following reports that during the month of April private sector employers added over 260,000 jobs, and signs that gas prices have finally began heading in the downward direction, and forecasted to be below $4 per gallon by Memorial Day.

Despite the increase in payrolls in April, the nation’s unemployment rate jumped from 8.8 to 9 percent

Also, following months of steady price increases, from $75 in May 2010 to more than $113 at the end of April, oil has dropped to $97 a barrel. That is its second biggest drop in history.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Economy Adds 216,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate at Two-Year Low

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The nation’s employers added 216,000 jobs during March, slightly better than the 185,000 economists expected, bringing the country’s unemployment rate down from 8.9 to 8.8 percent -- its lowest level since March 2009.

The private sector, factoring out government layoffs, saw 230,000 workers added to payrolls.

Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said that as long as millions are unemployed, considerable work remains.

"Nonetheless," he added, "the steep decline in the jobless rate and the solid employment growth in recent months are encouraging."

House Speaker John Boehner reacted to the report Friday, saying "any improvement in the jobs picture is welcome news for the country, but Washington needs to do more to end the uncertainty plaguing job creators."

“That means getting control of government spending, ending the threat of tax hikes, removing regulatory obstacles to job growth, and approving stalled trade agreements that would open new markets for American exports,” Boehner said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Level Since April 2009

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Employers added 192,000 jobs in February, bringing the unemployment rate down from 9 to 8.9 percent -- its lowest level since April 2009.

The private sector, factoring out government layoffs, saw 22,000 workers added to payrolls.

Economists were expecting to see approximately 185,000 new jobs added, slightly fewer than the government reported on Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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