Surprise! The recession isn't over
The Labor Department announced that half of the states saw their unemployment rates rise in January.
I'm so glad the recession is over, aren't you?
Unemployment rates increased in half of U.S. states in January from December, as employers nationwide added the fewest jobs in seven months.
The Labor Department says unemployment rates increased in 25 states. They fell in only 8 states and were unchanged in 17.
Nationally, the unemployment rate ticked up in January to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in December. Employers added only 119,000 jobs, down from 219,000 in December.
Job gains have since accelerated. Employers added 236,000 jobs in February, and the national unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent.
In January, California and Rhode Island reported the highest state unemployment rates, at 9.8 percent. The lowest was North Dakota at 3.3 percent. The state has benefited from an oil and gas boom.
We'll see if those February numbers hold up when they are revised at the beginning of April.
Our local job situation here in east-central Illinois is horrible. The last report - December, 2012 - saw unemployment at at a staggering 10.8% for the county, which was up from 10.1% in November. Part time jobs are extremely hard to come by. And we've had several business closures in the last year in my small town.
The people I talk to don't believe anything coming from the government about the "end" of the recession. We are living in a near depression-level economy with no sign of us coming out of it anytime soon.