The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

February 7, 2014

US employers add 113K jobs; rate dips to 6.6 pct.

WASHINGTON —  Hiring was surprisingly weak in January for a second straight month, likely renewing concern that the U.S. economy might be slowing after a strong finish last year.

    Employers added 113,000 jobs, the government said Friday, far fewer than the average monthly gain of 194,000 last year. Job gains have averaged just 154,000 the past three months, down from 201,000 in the preceding three.

    The sluggish job growth may reflect what investors and economists have begun to fear: That the U.S. job market is weakening again, along with sectors like manufacturing and retail sales in the United States and abroad. The weakness might also raise doubts about the Federal Reserve's plans to steadily reduce its economic stimulus this year.

    Still, more people began looking for work in January, a sign that they were optimistic about finding work. Some of these people found jobs, thereby reducing the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent in December. That's the lowest rate since October 2008.

    Soon after the report was released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, investors pulled back from stocks and shifted into safer U.S. bonds, sending bonds yields sharply lower. But then stock futures rose back above the levels where they had traded before the news. And the yield on the 10-year Treasury crept back toward its earlier level.

    Cold weather likely held back hiring in December, economists said, though the impact faded in January. Construction firms, which sometimes stop work in bad weather, added 48,000 jobs last month.

    Signs of economic weakness in the United States and overseas have sent stock prices sinking. Upheaval in developing countries has further spooked investors.

    The anxiety marks a reversal from a few weeks ago, when most analysts were increasingly hopeful about the global economy. U.S. growth came in at a sturdy 3.7 percent annual pace in the second half of last year. The Dow Jones industrial average finished 2013 at a record high. Europe's economy was slowly emerging from a long recession. Japan was finally perking up after two decades of stagnation.

    But then came December's weak jobs total. And on Monday, an industry survey found that manufacturing grew much more slowly in January than in December. A measure of new orders in the report sank to the lowest level in a year. That report contributed to a dizzying 326-point plunge in the Dow Jones industrial average.

    Also this week, automakers said sales slipped 3 percent in January. And last week, a measure of signed contracts to buy homes fell sharply, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    On a more hopeful note, a survey of service sector companies, including retailers, banks and restaurants, found that they grew faster in January than in December.

    Friday's report showed that some higher-paying industries added jobs in January. Factories created 21,000 new positions. Professional and technical services, which includes architects and engineers, added 20,000.

    But health care employment was mostly unchanged for a second straight month, after adding 17,000 jobs a month last year. And retailers cut 12,900 jobs, the most in 18 months.

    And government shed 29,000 jobs, mostly in education and the Postal Service.

    Average hourly earnings rose 5 cents to $24.21, the report said. Average hourly pay has increased 1.9 percent in the past year, slightly ahead of the 1.5 percent inflation rate.

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Indiana sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 29, 2014

  • Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer

    Medicare's finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year's estimate.

    July 28, 2014

  • After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

    After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 28, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business.

    July 25, 2014

  • Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.

    July 25, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 25, 2014

  • Illinois woman, 47, dies rescuing boy in Wisc. lake ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Friends and family are mourning the death of an Illinois woman who drowned while rescuing a 9-year-old boy in a Wisconsin lake.The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 47-year-old Karen Wessel of Arlington Heights d

    July 25, 2014

  • Taiwan plane crash photo Air travel a leap of faith for passengers WASHINGTON (AP) — Airline travel requires passengers to make a leap of faith, entrusting their lives to pilots, airlines, air traffic controllers and others who regulate air travel.Even after a week of multiple tragedies in worldwide aviation, “There

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Facebook