US sheds 36,000 jobs in Feb; unemployment rate at 9.7%

Last month, the economy saw the loss of 36,000 jobs.The unemployment rate was anticipated to climb to 9.8 per cent, mainly on account of snowstorms that disrupted economic activities in many parts of the country in February.

"Non-farm payroll employment was little changed (-36,000) in February, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 per cent," the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said today.
In January also, the jobless rate was at 9.7 per cent.

The payroll employment has slumped by a staggering 8.4 million since December 2007, when the American economy officially slipped into recession.The number of unemployed persons stood at 14.9 million in February.

Last month, employment declined in construction and information, while temporary help services added jobs."Severe winter weather in parts of the country may have affected payroll employment and hours; however, it is not possible to quantify precisely the net impact of the winter storms on these measures," the Bureau said in a statement.

Among the major worker groups, the jobless rate touched ten per cent for adult men, adult women (8 per cent), whites (8.8 per cent), blacks (15.8 per cent) and Hispanics (12.4 per cent). The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks and over, reached 6.1 million in February.

"About four in 10 unemployed persons have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more," the statement said.In recent quarters, the US economy has been witnessing healthy growth, with the economic recovery mainly paced by massive public spending.
In the wake of the raging financial turmoil, many US companies had resorted to massive layoffs last year, as part of their efforts to bring down costs.

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