Employment Increased More Than Expected In January; Unemployment Rate Falls To 8.3 Percent

The unemployment rate fell more than predicted and the economy added more jobs than expected in January, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today.

Employment increased by 243,000, with gains mostly in hospitality, health care, retail and office temps, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.

While this seems like good news on the face of it, there’s still a long journey to recovery ahead. There were still 5.5 million long-term unemployed (and the longer you are unemployed the harder it is to get re-employed), 8.2 million underemployed, and 2.8 million who were not working but were not counted as unemployed because they hadn’t looked for a job in the past four weeks.

Still, the numbers of long-term unemployed and discouraged workers hadn’t significantly increased over the past year, and remain much the same.

The economy has added about 2 million jobs over the past year.