Unemployment Rate at 5.7%; Businesses Create More Jobs

WASHINGTON− The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that U.S employment rate was 5.7 percent in January, 0.1 percent higher than at the end of 2014. Another survey shows businesses created a net of 257,000 jobs last month.


BLS also reports that in January 2014, there were 10.28 million unemployed workers and unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.


Elise Gould of the pro-worker Economic Policy Institute said January’s job creation was a strong start for the year, but the economy still needs to create jobs for new jobseekers since the Great Recession. “At 257,000 jobs a month, we would get to pre-recession labor market health by May 2017,” she said. “Unfortunately, there’s clearly still tremendous slack in the labor market. Despite job growth, workers are in desperate need of a raise…Wages need to grow faster, and for long time, before we can say the economy is truly working for working people−and before the Federal Reserve should think about tapping the brakes.”


One of every nine workers are jobless people who work part-time when they really want full-time work and those who are discouraged they’ve stopped seeking work. The number of long-term unemployed, who have been jobless for six months, has remained unchanged at 2.8 million.


In January, high-paying factories added 22,000 jobs and construction added 39,000 jobs. The lowest-paying sectors, all in services added more jobs: Health care and social assistance added 49,700, retail trade added 45,900, and bars and restaurants added 34,600.


Factories and construction each reported 811,000 jobless workers in January, which produced a 5.2 percent January jobless rate for factories and a .8 percent rate for construction.


Factories had 12.33 million workers in January, 228,000 more than a year before. The job gains were mostly in cars and parts and food factories.


Construction reported 6.314 million workers in January, mostly from specialty contractors and homebuilders.


The smallest job growths were in high-paying service occupations: Utilities (+500 jobs), airlines (+1,000), railroads (+300), mass transit (+1,800) and trucks (+2,400).


Governments, which are high-paying jobs, lost 10,000 jobs, net: -6,100 from Postal Service after the end of the holiday rush, and -4,800 from state governments, not including education.


Source: PAI