Inside these posts: Unemployment rate

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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 »

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 »

Bernanke says job growth, inflation still too low

U.S. unemployment remains too high despite increasing signs of economic strength, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday, suggesting the central bank would push on with its $600 billion stimulus program. 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 »

Labor Dept.: Jobless rate up in most metro areas

Unemployment rates rose in more than two-thirds of the nation’s largest metro areas in November, a sharp reversal from the previous month and the most since June.

The Labor Department says unemployment rates rose in 258 of the 372 largest cities, fell in 88 and remained the same in 26. That’s worse than the previous month, when the rate fell in 200 areas and rose in 108. Get the full story »

White House: Jobless aid lapse may cost 600K jobs

The White House urged Congress Thursday to extend unemployment aid and warned that failure to act would inflict a heavy toll on millions of Americans that could put the U.S. economic recovery at risk.

“Without an extension, employment would be about 600,000 lower…in December 2011 than if a year-long extension were passed,” according to a new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

U.S. unemployment insurance for those on long-term aid, which Congress had already extended to up to 99 weeks from a traditional 26 weeks of support, expired on Wednesday. Get the full story »

U of C profs: Housing woes, joblessness to linger

While the U.S. economy will grow at a modest clip in 2011, housing prices likely will languish and unemployment will remain high, according to forecasts by University of Chicago Booth School of Business professors at a luncheon presentation today.

Growth in the gross domestic product could reach 3.4 percent, exceeding the consensus of economic forecasters, according to economics professor Randall Kroszner, who was a governor of the Federal Reserve System from 2006 to 2009.

“I don’t agree with those who say we are in an extended period of low growth, but we are unlikely to have a powerful recovery either,” he said. Get the full story »

Unemployment near 8% across G20

Unemployment in the Group of 20 leading world economies is close to 8 percent of the total workforce and looks set to keep growing strongly, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Monday. Get the full story »

Fed set to launch fresh round of bond purchases

The U.S. Federal Reserve opens a two-day meeting on Tuesday that is expected to conclude with a decision to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy to stir the tepid recovery out of its doldrums. Get the full story »

Still-sluggish economy grew at 2% in third quarter

By Don Lee | The U.S. economy continued to plod along at sluggish pace in the third quarter, not enough to generate momentum or bring down the nation’s high jobless rate. The nation’s gross domestic product, or the value of all goods and services produced inside U.S. borders,  grew at an annualized rate of 2 percent in the July-to-September quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Unemployment claims drop sharply to 434K

Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the second drop in a row and a hopeful sign the job market could be improving.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits dropped by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 434,000 in the week that ended Oct. 23.

Illinois jobless rate dips to 10.1%

The Illinois unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 points, to 10.1 percent, in August, making it the eighth consecutive month of steady or declining rates, according the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

In August, the national unemployment rate went up 0.1 point, to 9.6 percent. Get the full story »

Number of Americans in poverty jumps to 43.6M

The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty.

The overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, the Census Bureau said Thursday in its annual report on the economic well-being of U.S. households. The report covers 2009, President Barack Obama’s first year in office.

Global youth unemployment reaches new high

A United Nations agency warned of a “lost generation” as more young people across the world give up the search for work. It reported that of some 620 million young people ages 15 to 24 in the work force, about 81 million were unemployed at the end of 2009 — the highest level in two decades of record-keeping by the organization, which is based in Geneva.

July payrolls fall, jobless rate holds at 9.5%

The employment picture in the U.S. remained bleak last month as the nation’s payrolls fell for a second straight month, with private-sector businesses adding a disappointingly scant number of new jobs. The jobless rate held steady at 9.5 percent in July, the government said Friday. Get the full story »