Unemployment Rising in Swing States

+1,000

Washington Post: “In more than 1,000 counties, or about one in three, the unemployment rate is higher than it was a year ago. That includes all 72 counties in Wisconsin and all 10 in New Hampshire, as well as most in Michigan, Minnesota and North Carolina. The numbers can be volatile from month to month, but this trend remains even if you look at entire quarters or years.”

Employment Up in January

304,000

The Labor Department said that 304,000 jobs were added last month, as compared to an estimate by economists of about 172,000, the New York Times reports. The unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent. “January’s growth means that American employers have added jobs for 100 consecutive months, extending a record run. The unemployment rate is near a multidecade low, and wages — long a weak point — are rising.”

Black Unemployment Reached Highest Level in Nine Months

7.7%

The black unemployment rate, which President Trump claimed credit for reducing to a record low, jumped last month by the most in almost six years, Bloomberg reports: “The Labor Department’s monthly employment report released Friday showed that joblessness among black Americans rose to a nine-month high of 7.7 percent in January from 6.8 percent in December, which was the lowest in data back to 1972. The 0.9 percentage-point rise was the most since June 2012.”

Chart: Donald Is Not Responsible for Declining African-American Unemployment

Vox: “Trump is certainly right that black unemployment hit a historic low in December 2017, not only falling to its lowest level since the Great Recession but falling below 7 percent for the first time since the statistic began being recorded. Given that black unemployment hit a high point of around 16.7 percent in August 2011 as the country recovered from the Great Recession, the new number is ostensibly good news. But exactly how much progress the new 6.8 percent number reflects, and what role Trump played in getting it there, isn’t exactly what the president says.

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Unemployment Drops to 4.6 Percent

4.6%

“U.S. employers hired at a steady clip in November while the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in nine years, signs of enduring labor-market growth that will likely leave Federal Reserve officials on track to raise interest rates later this month,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 178,000 in November from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.6% from 4.9% in October as some people found jobs while others dropped out of the workforce. At 4.6%, the rate is the lowest since August 2007. Economists expected 180,000 new jobs and a jobless rate of 4.9% in November.”