Unemployment rate takes unexpected dip

 
Story by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

Don’t get too excited, but the nation’s unemploynent rate made a move in the right direction in January, falling to 9.7 percent from 10.0 percent in December.

“It is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, positive or negative. It is essential that we continue our efforts to move in the right direction and replace job losses with robust job gains,” said Christina Romer, the chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, in a statement on the numbers released Friday.

There are still likely to be “bumps in the road ahead,” Romer warned, and the good news today itself came with some of the bumps, the most noticeable being the revised estimate that has the economy losing more than 1 million more jobs due to the recession than had previously been estimated.

But even slightly good news is good news in an economy that was in freefall for months since the start of the recession in December 2007. Today’s figures show employment in manufacturing in general and motor-vehicle manufacturing in particular on the increase for the first time since January 2007, and the unemployment rate that includes all persons marginally attached to the labor force and workers working part-time for economic reasons falling by a full percentage point.



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