A sigh of relief can be heard across the nation, as the unemployment figures are released. After a rise to 9.8% last month many were concerned about the economical implications. The newest figures show that unemployment is back on pace, slowly lowering, at 9.4% for the month of December 2010, but our economy still has a long way to go.
December was expected to bring a lower unemployment rate with the large number of seasonal jobs giving work the previously unemployed. As predicted, The Bureau of Labor Statistics released figures this morning that indicated a 0.4% percent drop from November to December. Although this is welcome news, the 103,000 jobs added in December falls short of the expected forecast of 150,000 jobs.
Catch Up: November Unemployment Rates Rise
Look Back at Unemployment (Dec. 2009-2010)
The 9.4% unemployment rate is the lowest reported in the past two years. Yes, the lowered unemployment rate is preferred to a rising one, but it is still not where the economy needs to be. The fact that for the past year the unemployment rate has hovered around 9.5% with minimal drops and rises shows that the economy seems to be stuck.
Last year’s December unemployment rate was reported at an extraordinary high 9.9%, a repeat of the month prior. The addition of 103,000 non-farm payroll jobs brought the added job total to 1.1 million from December 2009 to 2010. Today’s figures are a result of a 556,000 decrease in unemployed persons bringing the number to 14.5 million.
Employment Increases In Industry
The sluggish unemployment rate is said to be a factor of companies and organizations reluctancy to hire more workers, not due to limited funds. Certain experts believe that the act of rightsizing, hiring less workers to do more efficient work, has been a growing trend among business owners after the recession, therefore making it more difficult to penetrate the job market.
The industries that have seen the largest increases were leisure and hospitality and health care. The leisure and hospitality industry reported a 47,000 job increase in December. While the health care industry expanded by 36,000 jobs. Other job industries did not demonstrate significant changes to be reported.
This latest report has solidified the Fed’s confidence in their plan to purchase $600 billion in Treasury securities for June. Officials believe that these reports show that the rate of economic recovery is not sufficient enough to bring down unemployment to where it needs to be. The government has been striving to alleviate some of the unemployment stress not only with quantitative easing, but also with the recent tax cut extensions.
Check out: Hiring on the Rise for 2011
Category Nov. 2010 Dec. 2010 Change
Unemployment 9.8% 9.4% .4%
Jobs 71,000 103,000 +32,000
Category Dec. 2010 Jan. 2011 Change
Unemployment 9.4% 9.0% .4%
Jobs 103,000 36,000 -67,000
Category Nov. 2010 Dec. 2010 Change Category Dec. 2010 Jan. 2011 Change Category Dec. 2009 Dec. 2010 Change
Unemployment 9.8% 9.4% .4% Unemployment 9.4% 9.0% .4% Unemployment 9.9% 9.4% 0.5% Decrease
Jobs 71,000 103,000 +32,000 Jobs 103,000 36,000 -67,000