Economists predicted a stormy January jobs report and they were not far off the mark. According to figures released by the Labor Department, after two months of decline Black unemployment rose, from 11. 9 percent in December to 12.1 percent in January. The overall unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 6.6 percent from December’s 6.7 percent.
The economy added a disappointing 113,000 jobs in January. Automatic Data Processing, Inc., in its monthly report on job trends, had predicted that the private sector added just 175,000 jobs. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which helps ADP prepare the report, placed the blame on “cold and stormy weather.”
The Labor Department also reported on Thursday that new first-time unemployment claims declined by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000. (BET)