U.S. unemployment rate falls in January

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent in January from 10 percent in December 2009 as employers cut 20,000 jobs. Analysts were expecting the unemployment rate to increase slightly to 10.1 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised November 2009 and December 2009 data. The economy gained 64,000 jobs instead of 4,000 jobs in November 2009; however, the economy shed 150,000 jobs instead of the 85,000 previously reported in December 2009.

In January, construction companies cut 75,000 jobs, most likely because of unusually cold weather. Additionally, manufacturing gained 11,000 jobs—the sector's first gain since January 2007—and the services sector added 40,000 jobs.

The economy has eliminated 8.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007.

Date : 2/9/2010