Tags: Unemployment | Rises | 5.8 | Percent

Unemployment Rises to 5.8 Percent

Friday, 04 January 2002 12:00 AM

The government agency said the overall economy lost 124,000 nonfarm payroll jobs during the final month of 2001.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent from a revised 5.6 percent in November, which was originally reported as 5.7 percent.

Most economists on Wall Street were expecting non-farm payrolls to decline by about 150,000, after employers slashed a revised 371,000 jobs in November, which the government originally reported as a loss of 331,000 jobs. Wall Street was expecting the unemployment rate to rise to 5.8 percent during the month.

The December loss of non-farm payrolls was the fewest since 54,000 jobs were lost during August of last year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said nonfarm payroll employment declined by 1.1 million over the last four months of 2001.

In December, job losses continued in manufacturing, transportation and trade. These losses were partially offset by employment gains in services and government.

The Labor Department said the number of unemployed continued to rise in December, reaching 8.3 million.

For all of 2001, the number of unemployed people increased by 2.6 million and the unemployment rate rose by 1.8 percentage points from 4 percent in December 2000. The increase in the jobless rate was the most since a 2.3 percentage point increase in 1982.

The government agency said the unemployment rate for adult women increased to 5.2 percent in December. Jobless rates showed little or no change in December for adult men at 5.2 percent, teen-agers at 16.2 percent, whites at 5.1 percent, blacks at 10.2 percent, and Hispanics at 7.9 percent, but unemployment rates for all of these groups increased over the year.

The number of unemployed who were re-entrants to the labor force increased to 2.4 million in December, while the levels of unemployed job losers, job leavers, and new entrants to the labor force were little changed.

The number of unemployed job losers not on temporary layoff, or persons who did not expect to be recalled, was basically unchanged in December, but increased by about 1.7 million for the year.

This group, the government said, constituted 41 percent of the unemployed in December, up from 28.9 percent a year earlier.

The report showed factories slashed 133,000 jobs during the final month of 2001. Construction jobs rose by 5,000 in December after falling by 3,000 in November.

Employment in service-producing industries, which include retailers, transportation firms and government agencies, rose 9,000 in December after posting a 202,000 decline during the previous month.

Retailers slashed 77,000 jobs in December after cutting 12,000 in November, health services added 31,000 jobs, government jobs increased 63,000 and transportation companies slashed 36,000 jobs during the month after cutting 68,000 in November.

The report also showed workers' average hourly earnings rose 0.5 percent, or 7 cents, in December, after posting a 0.5 percent increase in November. Average weekly earnings rose to $499.66 last month from $495.81 in November.

The available labor pool rose to 12.9 million from 12.7 million in November. That combines the number of unemployed job seekers and people not counting themselves as unemployed who nonetheless looked for work in the last 12 months and said they would take a job.

The percentage of the U.S. population holding jobs fell to 63.0 percent in December from 63.1 percent in November.

Average weekly hours worked rose to 34.2 in December from 34.1 in November. Manufacturing overtime rose to 3.9 hours in December from 3.7 hours in November.

The report showed the number of people working part time despite their preference for full-time work rose over the year, from 3.2 to 4.3 million.

The size of the civilian labor force was basically unchanged in December, at 142.3 million people. The labor force participation rate was also little changed at 66.8 percent.

The government said approximately 7.3 million people held more than one job in December. These multiple job-holders represented 5.4 percent of total employment, compared with 5.7 percent a year earlier.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The government agency said the overall economy lost 124,000 nonfarm payroll jobs during the final month of 2001. The unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent from a revised 5.6 percent in November, which was originally reported as 5.7 percent. Most economists on Wall...
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2002-00-04
Friday, 04 January 2002 12:00 AM
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