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The government’s January jobs report showed that the U.S. economy only added 113,000 jobs, following a recent trend of slow job growth. The unemployment rate did drop slightly to 6.6 percent, although the numbers show that the economy is not growing as well as some hoped.
Economists had been hoping that the Labor Department’s jobs report would show 180,000 jobs added last month, notes The New York Times. However, the report showed that December’s slowdown did not end with 2013. Some fear that January’s report may be a sign that this will continue into 2014.
The report also comes as the Federal Reserve was poised to start a planned slowdown of the stimulus program to help the economy. However, they may want to delay that after these numbers.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Labor Department also said the average monthly job growth in 2013 was 194,000, up slightly from 2012’s 186,000 average.
Adjusted numbers for December also showed that assumptions that it was just caused by cold weather was wrong. Economists previously thought that the original report - which showed just 74,000 jobs added - was a fluke because of the weather. But the new numbers only added 1,000 to that.
January was also another month of cut government jobs offsetting private sector growth. While 142,000 private jobs were added, governments from local to federal levels cut 29,000 jobs. Some private sector industries did have a good month, but it was terrible for the retail sector, where 12,000 jobs were lost.
The unemployment rate is now at its lowest since October 2008, dropping to 6.6 percent from December’s 6.7 percent.
image: Wikimedia Commons