February jobs report shows decline in unemployment

Unemployed

The February jobs report indicates that unemployment is starting to consistently decline. Photo Credit: Nightscream/Luigi Novi/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY 3.0

The February jobs report indicates that unemployment has declined slightly since January. The rate of unemployment declined .01 percent to 8.9 percent over February. It is the third month in a row that unemployment has decreased.

Employers adding jobs

The February jobs report was recently released by the Department of Labor, and it showed that the increase in hires during the month of February was a small one, but an increase nonetheless. The unemployment rate decreased by a paltry 0.1 percent, from 9 percent in January to 8.9 percent in February, according to CNN. Employers added 192,000 jobs to the economy, which was a dramatic improvement over January. In January, employers added 63,000 jobs to the overall economy, but January was slower than February as winter weather brought many areas to a near standstill, according to the Los Angeles Times. Besides an increase in hiring once the snow relented, December and January jobs reports were revised by the Labor Department to reflect that 50,000 new hires had gone previously unreported.

Third consecutive month of decreasing unemployment

The unemployment rate has declined for the third month in a row. The rate of unemployment has waxed and waned for the past several years, and there have been declines noted all along the way, but the unemployment rate declined nearly an entire percentage point from December to February, marking significant progress. The number of initial unemployment claims fell to 368,000 recently, marking a three-year low for new filers. More than 9 million people are claiming unemployment benefits, according to Forbes.  The economy is projected by the Federal Reserve to grow between 3.5 and 4 percent during 2011, though rising gas prices are sure to cause some hiccups over the next few months.

Government spending cuts could scuttle recovery

Congressional Republicans are on a mission to drastically cut the federal budget down to size, which some economists believe will negate any progress made toward curbing the high rate of unemployment, according to CBS. Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, predicted that the House Republican plan to cut $61 billion from the federal budget could result in more than 700,000 people losing their jobs. A similar projection was also released by Goldman Sachs, though the objection was raised immediately that Zandi had been one of the most prominent supporters of the various stimulus packages and had claimed that unemployment would stay below 8 percent with stimulus spending.

Sources

CNN

Los Angeles Times

Forbes

CBS

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