Losses temper slight gains

Jim Blaylock/Staff
Educators waiting to be interviewed for teaching positions in Columbia County line the hall at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. More than 130 applicants were invited to interview Friday for 70 openings in the county.

9.7 percent


The nation's unemployment rate unexpectedly fell below double-digits in January for the first time since September, the Labor Department reported Friday, as the pace of job losses continued to drop, employers gave more hours to many workers, and manufacturing payrolls grew for the first time in three years.

64,000: The net total of jobs gained in November, the only gain in 25 months

52,000: The number of temporary jobs added in January

11,000: Jobs added in manufacturing, the first gain since January 2007

42,100: Jobs added in retail, the largest gain since November 2007

14,500: Jobs added in hospitals, nursing and other health care sectors

7,100: Jobs added in computer services

8.4 million

Jobs lost across the country during the past two years were about four times the net job losses in the deep recession of the early 1980s and 1.2 million more than previously estimated, according to newly revised data that tempered Friday's encouraging news from the Labor Department.

20,000: The net total of jobs lost in January

150,000: The net total of jobs lost in December

753,000: Average number of jobs lost each month in the first quarter of 2009

35,000: Average number lost each month in the past three months

41.2%: Proportion of unemployed who've been out of work six months or longer, the highest on records dating to 1948

30.2 WEEKS: Average length of unemployment in January, a record for the same period

6.3 MILLION: Number of people unemployed for six months or longer, a record for this period

1.3 MILLION: Number unemployed for that long in December 2007, when the recession began

2.5 MILLION: People without jobs who want to work but stopped looking


January unemployment by group

Female heads of households 12.3%

Asians 8.4%

Whites 8.7%

Hispanics 12.6%

Blacks 16.5%