US Unemployment Lowest Since 2008

US unemployment figures 2013With almost a quarter of a million jobs added to the economy in February, the US unemployment rate hit 7.7% – the lowest it has been since the end of 2008. But before we get too excited about the 236,000 jobs that were created, it’s down quite considerably from the same time last year (271,000). Also, the unemployment rate was positively affected by the reported 130,000 people who are no longer part of the labor force and therefore can no longer be included in the figure.

To compare this to other countries, Canada’s jobless rate is 7%, in the United Kingdom 8.4% are unemployed, in the Eurozone it’s 11.9% while in troubled Spain the unemployment rate has hit a staggering 26%. Meanwhile, Australia – with it’s relatively healthy economy – is due to release new figures next week, with many forecasting a modest rise to 5.5%.

Back to the United States: around 20% of February’s job gains were in construction, a sign that the sector is starting to recover from the decimation it suffered in the Great Recession. For a further breakdown of the statistics, please see here.

Philip

2 Comments

  1. It’s so heartbreaking to read those numbers, because they are not just statistics, those are real people who don’t have a job! And that is really sad. I wish this recession will end soon, I don’t know how much more problems people can take!

    • It looks like the unemployment rate has grown slightly in Australia since I wrote that: it’s at 5.8% for April 2014. In comparison, for the United States it was down to 6.3%, Canada is at 6.9%, for the United Kingdom it was also down to 7.5% and for European Union as a whole it was 10.6% (for February). So it seems the trend is downwards, with the exception of Australia.

      Edit: it seems the unemployment rate is Spain is also up, to a staggering 26.7%.

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