Modest Start for 2013 Job Creation, Concerns Remain

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Modest Start for 2013 Job Creation, Concerns Remain

By Keith Hall |
Feb 01, 2013

The Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning announced that the U.S. economy added 157,000 new jobs for the month of January, while the unemployment rate increased slightly to 7.9 percent with more people actively seeking work.

Mercatus Center senior research fellow Keith Hall – a former BLS commissioner – said that 2013 is off to a decent start. The latest job market news for 2012 also turned out better than expected, with the revised estimates showing an average of 181,000 new jobs added per month. However, the labor force participation rate is still a concern.

“Job creation in 2013 got off to a modest start as employment increased by 157,000 in January, slower than the revised 181,000 per month pace of 2012.

“Although the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the labor force participation rate held at 63.6 percent.  Disengagement from the labor force continues to be a concern; the participation rate has remained at about this level since late 2011.

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