US jobless rate slides to 8.5 pc in Dec,2 lakh jobs added

Since August,the unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage points.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published:January 6, 2012 9:16 pm

In fresh signs of an improving American labour market,the US added two lakh new jobs in the month of December,which also saw a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.5 per cent,according to the latest government figures released today.

The December unemployment rate was lower than expected,as the same was anticipated to be around 8.7 per cent last month.

“Non-farm payroll employment rose by 2,00,000 in December and the unemployment rate,at 8.5 per cent,continued to trend down,” Bureau of Labour Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall said,releasing the latest job figures.

Job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing,retail trade,manufacturing,health care and mining,the US Bureau of Labour Statistics said in a statement today.

While employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 50,000 in December,the couriers and messengers industry accounted for almost all of the gains (+42,000),as seasonal hiring was particularly strong in December.

“This may reflect increased online purchasing during the holiday season,” said Hall.

Since August,the unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage points.

The unemployment rate stood at 8.7 per cent in November.

The encouraging employment numbers come against the backdrop of rising global economic uncertainty,especially due to the European debt turmoil.

In December,the unemployment rate for adult men declined to 8 per cent. “The jobless rates for adult women (7.9 per cent),teenagers (23.1 per cent),whites (7.5 per cent),blacks (15.8 per cent) and Hispanics (11 per cent) showed little change,” the statement noted.

Last month,the number of long-term unemployed – those jobless for 27 weeks or more — stood at 5.6 million,accounting for 42.5 per cent of the total jobless people.

House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price said the US economy needs a higher level of confidence and certainty that will lead to greater relief for the millions of Americans who lost a job and have struggled to find work for years now.

“We understand that reducing the crippling burden of debt,reining in onerous regulations and encouraging domestic energy production are fundamental in creating jobs here at home,” he said.

“To this effort,we have asked President Obama repeatedly to stop playing politics and call on his colleagues in the Democrat-led Senate to get to work on the many bipartisan,House-passed bills that sit idle on their side,” Price added.

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