US unemployment rises in another indication of weak economy

People stand in a line that stretched around the block to enter a job fair held at the Jewish Community Center (JCC), on March 21, 2012 in New York City.(AFP Photo / John Moore)

People stand in a line that stretched around the block to enter a job fair held at the Jewish Community Center (JCC), on March 21, 2012 in New York City.(AFP Photo / John Moore)

The US unemployment rate is on the rise again, with 12,3 million Americans with no job even according to the official statistics, bringing the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent.

The unemployment rate rose from 7.8 in December to 7.9 percent in January, leaving 100,000 more Americans unemployed , according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly report.

In a news release, the BLS called the new figures “essentially unchanged” – even though unemployment rose despite the fact that 169,000 new Americans dropped out of the labor force in the past month. BLS labels as “not in the labor force” people who have retired on schedule, taken early retirement, or simply given up looking for work.

The report optimistically describes the areas in which new jobs were created, but does not emphasize the areas in which they were lost.

More jobs were added in retail trade, construction, health care and wholesale trade, but 14,000 were lost in transportation and warehousing industries. And while the private sector was primarily responsible for adding new jobs, government jobs decreased by 9,000 in January.

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