Unemployment down to 8.9

There is some irony about the unemployment numbers for this month and last. Last month, hardly any jobs were created, and the unemployment rate fell dramatically, by 0.4 percent. This month, there were three times as many net jobs created (about 190,000 on net), and it barely put a dent (down 0.1 percent) in the unemployment rate. So go figure.

The growth in jobs is not tremendous, but it's a decent start. Unemployment is now at 8.9 percent, less than one point higher than Obama's advisors said it would be at this point if we had never spent $821 billion on the stimulus package.

A breakdown of the numbers:

  • There were 190,000 fewer unemployed Americans (that is, seeking jobs and not finding them) in February than in January.
  • The ranks of the employed grew by 250,000.
  • The civilian labor force grew by a net 58,000.
  • The non-labor force also grew, by a net 87,000. That is, people retired, quit looking for a job, or turned 16 without looking for a job.

A few other notes:

  • Unemployment rate for those over 25 not having graduated high school: 13.9%
  • For college grads: 4.3%
  • Unemployment rate for whites: 8.0%
  • Unemployment rate for African-Americans: 15.3%
  • Unemployment rate for Hispanics: 11.6%
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