Upbeat US job figures send markets soaring
Unemployment rate falls as experts say figures indicate end of the recession
Saturday 08 August 2009
Job losses slowed and unemployment fell in the US last month, it was announced yesterday – a surprising piece of news that prompted experts to call the end of the recession.
The US Department of Labour released non-farm payroll employment figures which showed that 247,000 jobs were lost in July, compared with the forecast of 328,000.
The unemployment rate was down slightly at 9.4 per cent, equivalent to about 14.5 million people, from 9.5 per cent in June. Jan Hatzius, the chief US economist at Goldman Sachs, had predicted on Thursday that it would climb to 9.7 per cent. The US Federal Reserve forecast last month that unemployment would pass 10 per cent by January after hitting a record level last month. Yesterday's improvement was the first since April last year.
John Lonski, a US economist at Moody's Investors Service, said: "This is better than expected news; the dip in unemployment was a surprise. The report is very much in keeping with the idea of a presence of a brand new economic recovery. It is not a robust recovery, but a relatively anaemic one, but a recovery nonetheless."
America's gross domestic product should rise by the third quarter and that should mean more good news for the unemployed, Mr Lonski said. "Today's announcement is significant. It is consistent with other indicators suggesting the recession ended in June," he added.
The new data buoyed the stock markets, sending the benchmark Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices to new highs for the year in early trading on Wall Street. The dollar also rose against the sterling. However, the number of longer-term unemployed people, who have been without work for 27 weeks or more, was up by 584,000 at 5 million, meaning one in three had been jobless for almost seven months.
The number of those who wanted full-time work but had to go part-time was flat at 8.8 million – little changed in four months after a spike during the autumn and winter. Job cuts continued in many of the major industries in July, the statistics showed.
Employment in construction, for example, contracted by 76,000 in July, slightly higher than the average for the previous three months.
Factory jobs fell by 52,000, professional services were down 38,000 and those in the retail trade by 44,000.
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Ten best places to live in the UK: Hart in Hampshire takes top spot
'Untrue statements' anger over work to make H5N1 bird-flu virus MORE dangerous to humans
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
- 1 Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 The publisher who played with fire: the battle for control of Larsson's £30m legacy
- 5 Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness
- < Previous
- Next >