The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

February 1, 2013

US gains 157K jobs; jobless rate rises to 7.9%

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in January, and hiring was stronger at the end of last year than previously thought, providing reassurance that the job market held steady even as economic growth sputtered.

The Labor Department report Friday showed a jump in hiring just when the economy faced the threat of deep spending cuts and tax increases from the fiscal cliff. Job gains in November were revised to 247,000 from 161,000 and in December to 196,000 from 151,000.

The mostly upbeat report included one negative sign: The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in December.

The rate is calculated from a survey of households, and more people in that survey said they were unemployed. The job gains are derived from a separate survey of employers.

The hiring picture over the past two years also looked better after the department's annual revisions. The revisions showed that employers added an average of roughly 180,000 jobs a month in 2012 and 2011, up from previous estimates of about 150,000.

Stock futures rose after the report was released.

One notable change in the job market is the stronger contribution from construction companies. They added 28,000 jobs in January and nearly 100,000 in the past four months. The gains are consistent with a rebound in home construction and a broader recovery in housing.

Retailers added 33,000 positions in January and health care gained 23,000 jobs. Manufacturers posted a small increase of 4,000. Restaurants and hotels added 17,000.

Average hourly wages rose 4 cents to $23.78, the department said, and have increased 2.1 percent in the past 12 months. That's slightly above the inflation rate, which was 1.7 percent.

Last month's hiring should cushion the impact of the higher Social Security taxes that most consumers are paying this year. And it would help the economy resume growing after it shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the October-December quarter.

Higher Social Security taxes are reducing take-home pay for most Americans. A person earning $50,000 a year will have about $1,000 less to spend in 2013. A household with two high-paid workers will have up to $4,500 less. Taxes rose after a 2 percent cut, in place for two years, expired Jan. 1.

Analysts expect the Social Security tax increase to shave about a half-point off economic growth in 2013, since consumers drive about 70 percent of economic activity.

The hit to consumers is coming at a precarious moment for the economy. It contracted in the fourth quarter for the first time in 3½ years. The decline was driven largely by a steep cut in defense spending and a drop in exports. Analysts generally think those factors will prove temporary and that the economy will resume growing.

 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

  • Foreman calls Iowa murder case a 'slam dunk'

    The foreman of a jury that convicted an Iowa man of killing his pregnant wife says the prosecution's case was a "slam dunk" even if the investigation had flaws.

    July 25, 2014

  • JUST IN: Man shot in downtown Clinton

    A 32-year-old man was shot in downtown Clinton early today.

    July 25, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children's clothing scattered in the courtyard.

     

    July 25, 2014

  • Iowa panel sued for rejecting Cedar Rapids casino

    Former Linn County Attorney Eugene Kopecky has sued the Iowa Racing Gaming Commission over its rejection of the proposed Cedar Rapids casino.

    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

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (with VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video