Report: U.S. Adds 175,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Hits 6.7%

African Americans still see disproportionate unemployment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report, showing little change in unemployment in February. Though 175,000 jobs were added, the number of unemployed remains at 10.5 million, at a rate of 6.7%.

Still at disproportionate numbers in terms of joblessness, African Americans saw little change in the unemployment rate, which stands at 12% (compared with White people at 5.8%). Black men, 20 years old or older, are seeing a higher rate of unemployment (12.9%), compared with their female counterparts (9.9%).

Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, noted in a White House statement on the jobs numbers that the overall female unemployment rate has been steady at 6.4% in each of the past two months, the lowest since November 2008.

During the 2008 recession, the jobless rate rose quickly for men, and lulled for women, resulting in a large gap between the two rates. Furman cited the gap to the fact that men tend to work in industries that were especially hard-hit by the recession.

However, male unemployment began to see a drop when economic recovery began, the statement adds, while female unemployment was little changed on balance between mid-2009 and the end of 2011. “The President continues to look for ways to build on this progress and create even greater economic opportunities for women by combating discrimination, ensuring equal pay for equal work, and promoting workplace flexibility,” noted the statement.

The number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or more), increased by 203,000 in February to 3.8 million, and accounted for 37% of the unemployed.

Professional and business services industries saw a boost, with increased employment by 79,000 in February. Accounting and bookkeeping services added 16,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in temporary help services and in services to buildings and dwellings. Over the prior 12 months, professional and business services added an average of 56,000 jobs per month.

Also, employment in food services and drinking places continued to see a boost in February (up 21,000). Over the prior 12 months, this industry added an
average of 27,000 jobs per month.

Construction, healthcare, and retail trade employment saw little change, as well as employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government.

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