“My administration will not rest until every American who is able, and ready and willing to work can find a job. And a job that pays a decent wage and has decent benefits to support a family.” – President Obama, 2010
January saw an addition of 157,000 jobs while the unemployment edged higher to 7.9 percent (from 7.8 percent last month). As CNBC put it, this news is “unlikely to alter the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy or instill confidence that the recovery is gaining steam.”
- Total unemployed – 12.3 million (12.2 million last month)
- Black unemployment – 13.8 percent (14.0 last month)
- Adult Female unemployment – 7.3 percent (unchanged)
- Adult Male unemployment – 7.3 percent (7.2 last month)
- Civilian labor force participation rate – 63.6 percent (unchanged)
“I will not rest until businesses are investing again and businesses are hiring again and people have work again.” – President Obama, 2009
The U-6 unemployment rate, a much more encompassing figure than the U-3 rate (7.9 percent), that accounts for underemployed persons and discouraged workers remained unchanged at 14.4 percent. Just as a reminder, the U-6 rate stood at 14.2 percent as of January 2009, when the president took office.
This is good news in many ways; we added 157,000 jobs. But this is barely enough to keep up with population growth. Reuters points out that our economy needs to see growth of about 250,000 jobs a month over a sustained period of time – much more than the average 181,000 jobs added per month we saw in 2012.