Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Unemployment Rate Stable

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Unemployment Rate Stable

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The American economy entered the new year on a tear, creating 245,000 jobs in sales, construction, computers and other fields and holding the unemployment rate at a 28-year low of 4.3 percent.

The government's first major economic report of the year, issued Friday by the Labor Department, showed that January's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate matched the level achieved in December, last April and, before that, in 1970.

The unemployment rate for whites was unchanged at 3.8 percent in January. But the rates for blacks, 7.8 percent, and Hispanics, 6.6 percent, fell to the lowest levels since the government began tracking them in the early 1970s. "It's a great time to be an American worker," said economist Bill Cheney of John Hancock in Boston. "The job market, except for manufacturing, remains remarkably vibrant." The increase in employers' payrolls was nearly 100,000 more than expected by economists and came on top of a 298,000 increase in December. "Sluggish (corporate) earnings and weak growth in the rest of the world should eventually temper the U.S. economy," said economist Gerald D. Cohen of Merrill Lynch. "However, that is not yet evident." The report, along with private reports on auto and retail chain sales and manufacturing activity, shows the U.S. economy last month had considerable momentum after growing during the final three months of 1998 at the fastest rate in 2 1/2 years. It raises questions about how much longer the Federal Reserve can resist raising short-term interest rates. At Fed policy-makers' most recent meeting, this week, they decided to hold rates unchanged. But Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan expressed concern in congressional testimony last month that labor shortages would propel faster wage increases, which in turn would drive up inflation. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, however, said she wasn't worried about a rate increase. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.