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National Unemployment Dropping: A Closer Look for South Florida

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The Latest January National Employment numbers are looking better than last year.

And it’s boosting Wall Street to levels not seen for several years.

But is there a real hiring boom nationwide, how long could it last, and what does it mean to us here in South Florida?

If you add up all the new hiring over the holidays and continued consumer spending that’s been feeding new factory orders, you’ve got a recipe for a major improvement in the national job market for the First Quarter of 2012.

The January job numbers are about the lowest since President Barrack Obama took office back in early 2009.  

Kendall Jobseeker Chris Usatorres found a temporary shipping job a few weeks ago after being laid off last summer as a customer service representative at a local bank.

He’s glad to get back to work, but says finding a full-time job around South Florida is still tough.

The Miami-Dade College Student says “You get email boxes full of responses from businesses looking for workers, you can’t see anyone anymore. I did get a temp job which is good cause you can get out and get back in business”.

And it turns out Chris isn’t alone.

January was a good month for a lot of people to get back to work.

The National Unemployment rate dropped to 8-point-3 percent in January after gaining 243-thousand new jobs last month.

That’s the best overall gain in 9 months. Private employers added 257,000 positions to the job market after Local Governments cut 14,000 workers.

And that carried over from last year’s job trend, with the U-S Job market gaining 1.8 Million new positions in 2011.

That pushed the national unemployment rate to it’s lowest level since the month after President Barrack Obama took office back in February 2009.

The President is now urging Congress to work harder to boost the recovery and get more people back to work.

Mr. Obama recently told a Virginia Firehouse “The economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up. And we’ve got to do everything in our power to keep it going.

Now is not the time for self-inflicted wounds to our economy, Do not slow down the recovery that we’re on. Don’t muck it up.”

Service Sector jobs saw their best growth in years, including accommodations, retail-foreign trade and food services.

And that’s very good news for South Florida’’ Tourism and Foreign Trade sectors.

Crunching the U-S labor Department’s numbers a little closer shows the Unemployment Rate for Hispanics dropped 2 full points since last year, down to 10.5% from 12% back in January 2011.

African American jobless rates are now down to 13.6% from 15.7% during the same period.

But both are still well over the national average of 8.3%.

And when you factor in Long-Term Discouraged, Under-Employed Workers, or the long-term jobless who are no longer eligible for benefits who are even counted anymore, the overall national unemployment rate is still up over 15%.

Kendall Jobseeker Chris Usatorres is still hopeful he’ll soon find a full time job around South Florida.

But like so many other jobseekers here, he worries South Florida’s Job Market remains stalled, with few major new companies moving into the area looking for new workers. 

 

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