Friday October 20th 2017

Unemployment Rate Trends Lower

Free News Press – On Friday the U.S. Department of Labor calculates that the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6 percent, down from nine percent one month ago. After revising their figures for October and adding 140,000 new jobs in November, the Labor Department now says the official rate has declined to the best levels since 2009.

“In November, American companies increased hiring across virtually all regions and all sectors to keep pace with growing consumer consumption and demand,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Personal income and consumer spending were both higher. “Americans are showing more confidence in the economy,” Solis added. “Now it’s incumbent upon Washington to give them confidence in our government to solve our biggest challenges and put millions of Americans back to work.”

The administration was cautious Friday in their assessment. One month doesn’t create a trend, but on average the private sector has been creating 150,000 jobs per month in 2011. Economists say this is not keeping up with the estimated increase of new workers, but the trend has still been positive.

The news is still good according to Chris Rupkey, with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. He noted that the economy has created 2.5 million jobs since the beginning of the recession, and during most of 2009 the rate was skyrocketing.

The Republicans downplayed the lower rate. Boehner said that the remained above 8 percent for the 34th consecutive month. “Ominous is the fact the decline in the unemployment rate is due in part to 315,000 people leaving the labor force,” said David Stewart, Economic Policy Advisor to Speaker Boehner.

“While the number of unemployed fell to 13.3 million, the average duration of unemployment ticked up by one and a half week to 41 weeks. Forty-three percent of the unemployed have been unemployed for nearly seven months.”

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