Unemployment Rate Drops To 8.9%

Talking Points:

1. 24.7 million= 13.7 mil. Unemployed + 8.3 mil. Involuntarily working part-time + 2.7 mil. Who are not even counted = 24.7 million workers  who are either unemployed or underemployed or 16% of all workers! = 1 in 6 workers still unemployed or underemployed!

2. The recession has killed off 7.9 million jobs. Many of them are not coming back!

3. BLS said that the National Unemployment rate edged down another .1% to 8.9% in February. That makes: .9% over the last three months!

4. Key: after 20 straight (May 2009 to January 2011) months of the unemployment rate being 9.4% or higher it finally dropped below 9.4%!

5. Illinois unemployment rate 9% in January. It has now fallen 12 straight months!

6. Gain of 192,000 non-farm jobs in February.

7. The gains were: a) Manufacturing gained another 33,000 jobs in February (on top of a gain of 49,000 in January= a sign that manufacturing is started to be strong) b) Health Care which rose by 34,000 in February c) Construction added 33,000 jobs in February (versus a loss of 32,000 jobs in January) d) the service sector added 47,000 jobs in February and e) Transportation and warehousing added 22,000 jobs (versus a loss of 38,000 jobs in January).

8. The only real loser was state and local government employment, which edged down and has lost 377,000 jobs since its peak in September, 2008.

9. How bad is it? At February’s pace of 192,000 jobs created, it would take over 5 years or until late this decade to make up for all the jobs lost by the recession.