Unemployment rate decreases in December 2010

The U.S. unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent in November 2010 to 9.4 percent in December 2010 as employers added 103,000 jobs, according to USA Today. Economists were expecting more significant job growth.

The unemployment rate’s sharp drop can be attributed in part to 260,000 Americans dropping out of the work force—many because they were discouraged with the job search. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised its estimate of October 2010 job gains to 210,000 from 172,000 and November 2010 job gains to 71,000 from 39,000.

In December 2010, the leisure and hospitality sector gained 47,000 jobs; health care sector gained 36,000 jobs; temporary agencies gained 16,000 jobs; retail sector added 12,000 jobs; and manufacturing sector added 10,000 jobs. The construction sector cut 16,000 jobs.

Many economists expect job growth of 150,000 to 200,000 per month this year, which would lower the unemployment rate to about 9 percent by the end of the year. The economy gained more than 1 million jobs—or about 94,000 per month—in 2010.

There currently are 14.5 million unemployed workers in the U.S.

Date : 1/12/2011