Inside these posts: Labor Department

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Jobless rates fall in more than 75% of metro areas

Unemployment rates are falling in most metro areas across the country, suggesting that recent nationwide gains in hiring are widespread and not limited to a few healthy regions. Get the full story »

U.S. jobless rate falls to 8.8%, a 2-year low

An applicant at a Chicago area job fair. (Tribune)

The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and companies added workers at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began.

The Labor Department says the economy added 216,000 new jobs last month, offsetting layoffs a local governments. Factories, retailers, education, health care and an array of professional and financial services expanded payrolls. Get the full story »

Illinois paces decline in latest initial jobless claims

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, indicating the jobs market continues to gradually recover. Get the full story »

Unemployment rises in nearly all metro areas

Unemployment rose in nearly all of the 372 largest U.S. cities in January compared to the previous month, mostly because of seasonal changes such as the layoff of temporary retail employees hired for the holidays.

In the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, the unemployment rate of 9.7 percent in January represented a 0.8 percentage point increase from the month before. Unemployment was down 2.2 percentage points from a year ago. Get the full story »

Manpower: More employers plan to hire in 2Q

More U.S. employers said they plan to boost payrolls in the second quarter, and fewer expect to reduce headcounts, a private survey found.

Manpower Inc., the world’s second-largest provider of temporary workers, said today that 16 percent plan to add workers in the April-June period, up from 14 percent in the first quarter. The share of those projecting workforce reductions fell to 6 percent from 10 percent. Get the full story »

Unemployment rate in U.S. falls below 9%

Job seekers in Chicago speak with recruiters at a career fair at Malcolm X College last summer. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The U.S. jobs market rebounded in February and unemployment fell below 9 percent for the first time in nearly two years, the latest signs of a steadily improving economy.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 last month as private-sector employers added 222,000 jobs, the Labor Dept. said Friday in its survey of employers. The January number was revised to show an increase of 63,000 jobs, from a previous estimate of 36,000.

In Illinois, the unemployment rate fell to 9.0 percent in January, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, fell to 8.9 percent last month, the first time it dipped below 9 percent since April 2009. About 13.67 million people who would like to work can’t get a job. Get the full story »

New jobless claims at lowest level in 2.5 years

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to touch their lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years, the Labor Department said. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the lowest since May 2008. Get the full story »

3 theater chains fined over child labor violations

Three movie theater companies will pay more than $275,000 in civil fines after being accused of  violating federal labor laws by allowing dozens of teenagers in nine states, including Illinois, to perform dangerous jobs and work hours longer than allowed by law, the Department of Labor said Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division said about 160 minors at 27 theaters operated by Milwaukee-based Marcus Theatres Corp.;  Regal Cinemas Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn.; and Wehrenberg Inc. of St. Louis violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. Get the full story »

Weekly jobless claims tick back above 400,000

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits edged up last week, the government said Thursday. There were 410,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Feb. 12, according to the Labor Department. Get the full story »

Wholesale prices on target despite energy rise

U.S. producer prices rose 0.8 percent in January in line with expectations on an increase in energy prices, a Labor Department report showed Wednesday. Get the full story »

Latest data show continued recovery in jobs

U.S. job openings slipped in December, a government report showed Tuesday, but a decline in layoffs supported views of a gradual labor market recovery.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, eased 139,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.1 million, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Get the full story »

U.S. unemployment rate drops to 9%

The U.S. economy added a paltry 36,000 jobs in January, the government said Friday. Bad weather likely contributed to the weaker-than-expected hiring, but the report also suggests that many employers remain reluctant to hire despite a strengthening economic recovery.

Even so, the nation’s unemployment rate fell dramatically for the second month in a row. It dropped to 9 percent in January, from 9.4 percent in December and 9.8% in November. Get the full story »

U.S. jobless claims fall more than expected

U.S. initial jobless claims fell more than expected last week and showed their biggest decline since February, in a hopeful sign for the U.S. labor market. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits dropped sharply to 404,000 from a downwardly revised reading of 441,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Get the full story »

December consumer prices rise slower in Chicago

Chicagoans faced less price inflation than the nation as a whole last month.

The consumer price index in the Chicago region rose 0.3 percent in December as the cost of gas and food increased, the Labor Department said Friday. The national rate was 0.5 percent, the largest gain in 18 months. Get the full story »

Weekly jobless claims jump most in 6 months

U.S. jobless claims jumped unexpectedly last week to their highest level since October, suggesting the labor market is still in a rut despite signs of improvement in the economy.

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose to 445,000 from an upwardly revised reading of 410,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. It was the biggest one-week jump in about six months, confounding analyst forecasts for a small drop to 405,000. Get the full story »