US Unemployment Rate Down to 9.7 Percent

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The government’s monthly job report on Friday showed that the disastrous labor situation plaguing the nation’s economy is moderating. But the report also underlines an unsettling reality: 8.4 million jobs have been vaporized┬ásince the recession began, and digging out won’t be easy.

The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in January to 9.7%. And businesses shed 20,000 jobs for the month, far fewer than the 150,000 jobs that were lost in December.

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13 Responses to “US Unemployment Rate Down to 9.7 Percent”


  1. 1 Tiffany Hagewood February 5, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    So it’s good news to hear that the Unemployment rate is down to 9.7 percent. The only problem is that the unemployment rate may be down, but it is still going to take quite a long time to create all the jobs that have been cut/loss over the past two years. And even if we do create the exact number of jobs lost, that does not mean they will be anywhere near the type of jobs that were lost. I know first hand what it is like to take any job available in order to provide for yourself. I make about half of what I was making 2 years ago. Maybe the unemployment rate is slightly down because many Americans have settled for jobs under their previous position/pay rate. This fact may be a light at the end of the tunnel, but the dark tunnel is still there!

  2. 2 Ruben February 5, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Although the unemployment rate went down, it doesn’t necessarily mean that more jobs are open. As it stated in the article, there are jobs opening up in certain parts but their are also jobs being cut in others. I think that although it is only one month, this is very good new. I hope that as we move on through the year this only gets better.

  3. 3 Hannah Mac Dula February 5, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    I agree with Ruben. Even though the unemployment rate is down, it doesn’t necessarily mean that more jobs are open. Just the other day I was talking to my friend who recently became homeless. His parents kicked him out of the house because he couldn’t find a job. He came to me for help since I intern at a social services branch. I was only able to suggest one place to apply. It’s saddening to see so many out of jobs. However, an overall decrease in the unemployment rate is kind of like a breath of fresh air. With so much depressing news about the recession, etc. etc, it’s nice to hear a somewhat encouraging piece of news

  4. 4 Lorena Rodegeb February 6, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    I agree that it is good new that the unemployment rate is going down, but when I think about it there are so many factors contributing to unemployment…how will those factors all be fixed? How are we going to create new jobs? How do we get new businesses to open their doors and hire more people? For example, big box retailers took out mom and pops retailers. MP3 players and digital media destroyed record sales and record stores(I miss Tower Records!)Now that I think about it, will the same end up happening to books sales, stores, publishers, and presses with the creation of digital books? Hmmmmmm….

    People are having to go out and re-educate themselves because of the lack of work in their fields and the inability to use their skills, but how do they afford to pay for school when it is already not very affordable? Not to mention with schools raising tuition fees and the reduction in classes, how does one even attend school? I myself wasn’t high on the priority enrollment list so I found myself trying to add to several classes and even had to draw numbers for one because there were so many people trying to add!!

    Like I said it seems great that the unemployment rate went down, but we have a long way to go to get back on track.

  5. 5 Christopher Henderson (101) February 7, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    Well, slowly but surely the rate is falling. It’s nice to see this at the start of a new year. I thought I’d comment on an observation made in the article that many workers that had their hours reduced are now being brought back to full-time. This I’ve seen first hand. In my comments a few blog posts earlier I mentioned the rocky situation the company I work for is in; recently I have been given more hours than just the very few I currently had. I’m curious though if the spike in temporary workers had anything to do with the holiday season we just passed or if those jobs will continue to be a part of our nation’s unemployment rate dropping.

  6. 6 Michelle Benton February 9, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    That’s great that the hours available to people are increasing. Does the unemployment rate take into consideration workers with cut hours? I am not sure how that fits into the equation. I feel like it should be taken into consideration since it is like losing half of a job but I am not clear on that. I know a few people who have been hired on for seasonal work in Yellowstone where they employ thousands of people for about six months out of the year but what happens when the season is over and they get added back to the pool of joblessness. I think outsourcing less jobs to other countries would help our economy tremendously too.

  7. 7 Jesus Zavala February 10, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    I think that it is a good sign that the unemployment rate dropped in the last month. This does not mean that the economy is back to were it was before the recession, but its a start. The unemployment rate is going to drop slowly and take several months to see an improvement. It is also a good sign that employers and hiring more workers and extending the hours of those who had to cut hours from their job.

  8. 8 Logan C. Songer February 12, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    A light at the end of the tunnel. Less jobs are lost than anticipated, and than in December, and more jobs are created!! That is a strong combination that is going to pull us out of this mess, eventually. As Christopher mentions, these numbers may be skewed because of the Holiday workers. However, at least they are working for a little while to help pay bills!

  9. 9 Anna Hernandez March 7, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    This is frightening considering I am looking to climb the corporate ladder but I fear losing my job one month into my new role. Job security, or the idea of at least, keeps me latched to my current job and reading statistics like those mentioned make me second guess my decision to climb the corporate ladder during these economic times. Although the number of jobs is increasing and the increase is promising, no job is safe and no number can provide comfort for long.

  10. 10 Kara Yamamoto April 2, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    It is great news to hear that the unemployment rate went down 9.7 percent, but even with the rapid decrease people everyday are still losing their jobs. It is still going to take a while to recreate all the jobs that have been lost over the past two years. Maybe the unemployment is down because we have decided to just settle on jobs to provide for ourselves and/or families? But in the end, we aren’t making as much as we were and jobs are still being lost.

  11. 11 MunchiesMan May 15, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    This article shows improvement in our economy, but just as Christina Romer has said, “It is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, positive or negative,” Creating jobs to revamp our economy is going to take a long time, every two months we need to employ a quarter of a million people to return to our previous unemployment rate of 5%. Im glad to hear some positive news on our economy, but we are a long ways from a total recovery and getting back to square one is going to be difficult, i would just like to see some of our big officials come through with there campaign promises and create green jobs.

  12. 12 Kyle Barraclough May 18, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    The dropping of the unemployment rate is a good sign but this does not mean the economy is anywhere close to being where it needs to be. The unemployment will slowly drop,hopefully. But it will take a long time to improve but at the same time it is nice to see more people are receiving jobs. It is also a good sign that employers and hiring more workers and extending the hours of those who had to cut hours from their job.

  13. 13 Ciara Pedroncelli May 18, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    This is really great to see. I did not know that since the recession began we went from having a 5% unemployment rate all the way to a 10% unemployment rate. That is a 100% increase. That is really crazy to think. I wonder if unemployment decreasing has anything to do with the rise in the GDP and the fact that the holiday season just happened. During the holiday season, retail stores tend to hire extra hands for all the extra shoppers that will be coming through. If this is the case does that mean that next month the unemployment rate will rise again because retail stores will have let go of the extra hands that they hired? There are so many factors to consider in economics.


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