January 2013 Jobs Report – U.S. Employment & Unemployment Rate Up
The U.S. economy created a modest 157,000 jobs in January while the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, February 1. The unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households, while job gains come from a survey of employers. This is the 35th straight month of positive job growth with 6.1 million new jobs during this period. 125,000 jobs are needed each month to keep up with growth in the potential labor force.
The hiring picture over the past two years appears better after the department’s annual revisions. Employers added an average of 180,000 jobs per month in 2012 and 2011, up from previous estimates of about 150,000. Positive indicators for job growth in 2013 include the improving housing market which is poised for strong growth for the first time since 2006.
Government jobs continued to contract in January with losses of 5,000 Federal government jobs and 4,700 jobs in local government education. The local government education sector has now lost 339,400 jobs since its recent peak in November 2009.
In a statement today, the White House said that “Today’s report is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy.” To many people, it’s becoming clear that the Congressional pattern of short-term budget solutions continue to negatively impact the U.S. economy.
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