BYTE BACKKFNX1100AM Listen Live
BLOND AND HARMONIZED GETTING IT RIGHT AGAINST THE RIGHT firstname.lastname@example.org
January 09, 2004
KEEPING YOU RIGHTISTS HONEST
I suppose some people would say this is biased reporting, but unemployment fell because many people stopped lookin for work. Let's see how they Rove administration trumps this at fundraisers and in print.
Unemployment Rate Falls; Few Jobs Added
Jan 9, 9:42 AM (ET) | By LEIGH STROPE
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in December to the lowest level in 14 months, but employers finished the year without many help wanted signs for the holidays, adding just 1,000 new jobs.
The 0.2 percentage point drop in the jobless rate occurred because fewer people were looking for work, the Labor Department said Friday. More than 300,000 people gave up their search for jobs and dropped out of the pool of available workers.
"The rate is going down, but it is going down for the wrong reasons," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services, noting that it fell not because people were finding work. "That doesn't make you feel really good about the state of the jobs market."
Weak holiday hiring by retailers was to blame for holding back job gains. Analysts were surprised by the anemic job growth because they expecting companies to add 100,000 to 150,000 jobs to their payrolls last month. But the net gain was just 1,000 jobs - which is "quite shocking," Cheney said. "I would certainly have not expected anything resembling that."
Employment in the nation's stores, malls and even gas stations dropped by 38,000, the report said, and manufacturing continued a 41-month slide by losing 26,000 jobs.