[Data: BLS Monthly Labor Review, Economic Policy Institute]
The American economy created jobs at a faster pace in February, adding 236,000 positions, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The unemployment rate was 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008, compared with 7.9 percent in January. Economists had been expecting the economy to add 165,000 jobs in February, with no movement in the rate.
After peaking at 10 percent in October 2009, the unemployment rate fell steadily for three years but has been stuck at just below 8 percent since last September.
The latest unemployment report comes amid concerns that federal budget cuts set in motion by a Congressional impasse could increase the ranks of the jobless in the months ahead.
Those cuts went into effect March 1, so they are not reflected in the data for February. But pressure on government payrolls was evident, with the public sector losing 10,000 jobs last month. Private employers added 246,000 positions.
The pace of hiring represents an acceleration from the previous four months, when the economy added jobs at a monthly rate of 190,000.
While that represents an improvement over the rate of job creation last summer, it is still well below the level necessary to bring down the unemployment rate substantially or reduce the ranks of the long-term jobless.
The budget cuts in Washington are expected to reduce federal unemployment benefits by about 10 percent. State benefits, which cover the first 26 weeks of unemployment in most states, will not be affected by the federal budget squeeze.
The New York Times, “Unemployment at 4-Year Low as US Hiring Gains Steam” (via inothernews)
I hope this is all true for my newly unemployed self.
I know the pressure these debts can put on you. I know how angry it makes you, at yourself, at other people, at the world. Why didn’t I save more? Why did I buy that thing? Why did I have to pick up that tab when I didn’t have any goddamn money? How could I support a family like this? Why won’t the world recognize my talent is worth more!?
And so when Nate Thayer published emails with our newest editor (second week on the job), I can see how that might happen. How you might finish writing your last email, “No offense taken,” and then staring at your blog’s CMS that night, decide, you know, what? I’m tired of writing for peanuts, because fuck that. And if a young journalist in her first week on the job was part of the collateral damage, hey, the world just isn’t fair, kid. Pay it forward.
I get it, but it was still a nasty thing to do.
I tried not to read this, but I couldn’t stay away. Now I am hyperventilating because today is only Day 2 of my “funemployment” and I am about to dive back into the cold waters of job searching in journalism. AND I’M TERRIFIED. I wake up tossing and turning and thinking “Why am I so stupid? Why have I allowed myself to love something that will never love me back? What does the future look like? Why have I picked something that will never allow me to have an ‘easy’ life?” I don’t know. I just can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I tried to do something different, something I thought would be easier and fun (advertising). But it wasn’t. And I ended up being booted out because of budget cuts anyway, so it’s all the same. Like the author of this column, I don’t have a good answer for any of this. No one does.
Things I’ve learned from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Media and Information Survey:
1) I’ll always be poor. (knew that already)
2) Washington and Colorado (?) have the most amount of workers in the field.
3) The Internetz wins! :)
4) The BLS does not care about smartphones.