February 2017 US Unemployment Rate

  • U.S. added 235,000 jobs in February; unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent, By Ana Swanson, March 10, 2017, Washington Post: “The U.S. economy added a healthy 235,000 jobs in February, according to government data released Friday morning, surpassing economists’ expectations and likely clearing the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7 percent, compared with 4.8 percent in January, and wages rose by 6 cents to $26.09 in February, after a 5-cent increase the month before…”
  • U.S. gains a healthy 235,000 jobs in February; unemployment rate falls to 4.7%, By Don Lee, March 10, 2017, Los Angeles Times: “Warm weather and rising business optimism helped the U.S. economy to create another burst of job growth last month, giving President Trump an early confidence boost and all but assuring that the Federal Reserve will nudge up interest rates next week.  Employers added 235,000 jobs in February, about as many as in January and well above analysts’ expectations and the average monthly payroll growth for all of last year, the Labor Department said Friday…”

The US Structurally Unemployed

The new face of American unemployment, By Jeanna Smialek and Patricia Laya, February 7, 2017, Bloomberg: “Even at so-called full employment, some 20 million Americans are left behind.  They’re looking for work, out of the labor force but unhappy about it, or report working part-time when they’d prefer more hours, according to data released last week. Their plight comes even as the U.S. flirts with what economists consider the maximum level of employment for the first time since before the recession, having added 15.8 million jobs since the start of 2010. While some of America’s jobless are simply between gigs, those persistently stuck out of work are called the structurally unemployed…”

January 2017 US Unemployment Rate

U.S. starts year with job surge, but pay gains are weak, By Patricia Cohen, February 3, 2017, New York Times: “Job growth was quick out of the gate in the new year, the government reported on Friday, as employers added a healthy 227,000 workers to their payrolls in January. But despite a surge of local minimum-wage increases in states across the country, wage growth was meager.  The official jobless rate rose slightly, to 4.8 percent, but for good cause: More people were lured back into the work force…”

December 2016 US Unemployment Rate

U.S. economy creates a modest 156,000 jobs in December, By Don Lee, January 6, 2017, Los Angeles Times: “Job growth slowed at the end of last year while the unemployment rate ticked higher — signs that the tight labor market is resulting in diminished hiring even as it is pushing wages higher. The U.S. economy added 156,000 net new jobs last month, down from an upwardly revised 204,000 created in November, the Labor Department said Friday…”

November 2016 US Unemployment Rate

U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November; unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent, By Ana Swanson, December 2, 2016, Washington Post: “The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, a level not seen since August 2007, according to government data released Friday morning. The first employment report since voters went to the polls last month shows an economy in strong shape as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office…”

October 2016 US Unemployment Rate

Final jobs report before election shows promising wage growth, By Don Lee, November 4, 2016, Los Angeles Times: “The last monthly jobs report before Tuesday’s presidential election offered some encouraging news for workers: Job growth remains steady and pay is rising at a faster rate.  Employers in October added 161,000 jobs, a little less than analysts’ average forecast but still a solid pace consistent with a healthy labor market. That’s more than enough to absorb new entrants to the workforce and keep the jobless rate from rising…”

June 2016 State Unemployment Rates

18 states see significant job gains, but unemployment rises, By Josh Boak (AP), July 22, 2016, Albany Times Union: “Unemployment rates ticked up noticeably in six states in June, even as employers continued to add jobs and the hiring outlook improved. The unemployment rate in 21 states is now significantly below the national figure of 4.9 percent, while it’s higher in 14 states…”

Black Unemployment

Unemployment may be dropping, but it’s still twice as high for blacks, By Sonari Glinton, February 5, 2016, National Public Radio: “The jobs numbers are in: 150,000 jobs were added to the economy in January. That’s fewer than expected, though the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low.  President Obama took the opportunity this morning to take a shot at some of his more vocal opponents…”

January 2016 Unemployment Rate

Wages rise as U.S. unemployment rate falls below 5%, By Nelson D. Schwartz, February 5, 2016, New York Times: “Is the American worker finally getting a raise?  After years of scant real gains despite steadily falling unemployment and healthy hiring, wages picked up significantly last month, a sign the job market could be tightening enough to force companies to pay more to attract and retain employees.  The half a percentage point increase in average hourly earnings in January was the brightest spot in a generally positive Labor Department report on Friday, which showed job creation slowing from the white-hot pace of late 2015 even as the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low of 4.9 percent…”

Young Black Men and Unemployment – Chicago, IL

Nearly half of young black men in Chicago out of work, out of school: report, By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, January 25, 2016, Chicago Tribune: “Nearly half of young black men in Chicago are neither in school nor working, a staggering statistic in a bleak new youth unemployment report that shows Chicago to be far worse off than its big-city peers. To 24-year-old Johnathan Allen, that’s no surprise. ‘It’s right there in your face, you don’t need statistics,’ Allen said as he testified before a room full of lawmakers and public officials Monday at an annual hearing about youth unemployment, where the report was presented. He encouraged everyone to walk down the street and witness how joblessness devastates communities…”

Workforce Development – Indiana

Indiana’s low unemployment creates worker shortage, By Kris Turner, January 8, 2016, Indianapolis Star: “One. That’s how many qualified employees Gregg Fore can find among every 10 job applicants at his RV manufacturing business.  And he’s far from alone. Economic experts say Indiana businesses face some particularly tough hiring challenges because of the state’s heavy reliance on manufacturing, a sector that has been hit hardest by a national worker shortage…”

November 2015 State Unemployment

Unemployment rates fall in 27 US states amid broad hiring, By Christopher S. Rugaber (AP), December 18, 2015, ABC News: “Unemployment rates fell in more than half of U.S. states in November as employers stepped up hiring.  The Labor Department said Friday that jobless rates fell in 27 states, rose in 11, and were unchanged in 12 states. Employers added jobs in 35 states, while employment fell in 14. Montana’s job total was flat last month…”

State Unemployment Rates

  • Unemployment rates fall in two-thirds of US states, Associated Press, November 20, 2015, New York Times: “Unemployment rates fell in 32 U.S. states last month as employers nationwide added the most jobs of any month this year. Jobless rates rose in just three states in October and were unchanged in 15. The unemployment rate has tumbled below 4.5 percent in 21 states, including Texas, Colorado, and Virginia. That’s a historically low level that may help push up pay in the coming months…”
  • Payrolls increase in 40 states in October, led by California, By Victoria Stilwell, November 20, 2015, Chicago Tribune: “Payrolls rose in 40 states and the unemployment rate fell in 32 as the U.S. labor market powered ahead in October. California led the nation with a 41,200 increase in employment, followed by a 35,200 advance in Florida, figures from the Labor Department showed Friday in Washington…”

Unemployment Among Veterans

Unemployment for veterans at lowest level in 7 years, By Angela Johnson, November 11, 2015, CNBC: “The unemployment rate for veterans has dropped to its lowest level in seven years, thanks to an all-hands-on-deck push by government and corporate America to hire veterans.  According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the jobless rate for veterans — a population of nearly 20 million— dropped to 3.9 percent in October, down from 4.3 percent a month earlier and 4.5 percent a year ago. This is its lowest level in seven years…”

October 2015 Unemployment Rate

Economy adds a surprising 271,000 jobs; unemployment rate falls to 5%, By Don Lee, November 6, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “An unexpected surge of hiring last month accompanied by strong wage gains suggests that the U.S. labor market remains solid and increases the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will make its first interest rate hike in nearly a decade next month.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that employers across a broad spectrum of industries added a net 271,000 new jobs in October. That is far more than most analysts’ forecast of about 180,000 jobs, and a sharp acceleration from revised payroll gains of 137,000 in September and 153,000 in August…”

Unemployment Benefits – Missouri

Fight brewing over Missouri cutting jobless benefits, By Jason Hancock, October 4, 2015, Kansas City Star: “It took six years for Missouri’s unemployment rate to return to pre-recession levels, finally dropping below 6 percent last summer. It has remained there ever since. Under a bill passed recently by lawmakers over the objections of the governor, a jobless rate that low will mean a dramatic reduction in how long out-of-work Missourians can receive unemployment benefits. The new law is supposed to go into effect in January. Whether it will isn’t clear. Legal wrangling may delay or even completely derail its implementation…”

September 2015 US Unemployment Rate

Jobs report is lackluster, raising concern on economy’s course, By Patricia Cohen, October 2, 2015, New York Times: “Employers added a mere 142,000 jobs in September, the government said Friday, casting a shadow on the nation’s economy in a Labor Department report that analysts variously described as ‘dreadful,’ ‘a body blow’ and ‘grim.’ Adding to the gloom, the agency revised August’s employment numbers sharply downward, showing that only 136,000 jobs were created that month, well below the 173,000 originally estimated. The two consecutive weak reports pointed to a loss of momentum for the American economy over the summer…”

Unemployment Benefits – Missouri

Missouri lawmakers cut jobless benefits, limit minimum wages, By David A. Lieb, September 17, 2015, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature put a conservative stamp on state employment laws Wednesday, voting to cut unemployment benefits to one of the shortest periods nationally while also outlawing local minimum wage increases…”

August 2015 US Unemployment Rate

  • Employers added 173,000 jobs in Aug., jobless rates falls to 5.1%,  By Paul Davidson, September 4, 2015, USA Today: “Payroll growth slowed in August as employers added 173,000 jobs in a key report that could help the Federal Reserve decide whether to raise interest rates later this month. The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a separate survey of households, fell from 5.3% to 5.1%, lowest since March 2008. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected employment gains of 218,000, according to their median forecast…”
  • Unemployment rate dips to 5.1 percent amid 173,000 new jobs in August, By Scott Neuman, September 4, 2015, National Public Radio: “The Labor Department says the U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August, a figure that fell short of expectations but nonetheless appeared to shrug off turmoil in overseas markets, particularly China. In a separate survey, the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said the unemployment rate had dipped to 5.1 percent — a seven-year low.  Many economists had forecast 220,000 new jobs in August, an increase over the 215,000 jobs added the month before. July’s tally was revised upward to 245,000 jobs, while June’s figure was revised to 245,000 from 231,000…”

State Unemployment Rates

Unemployment rates rose in half of US states last month, By Christopher S. Rugaber, June 19, 2015, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “Unemployment rates rose in 25 U.S. states last month, driven higher in many cases by more people who began looking for work but didn’t immediately find jobs. Rates fell in 9 states and Washington, D.C., and were unchanged in 16 states, the Labor Department said Friday…”