Unemployment Fell to 9.7 Percent Last Month


That’s down from 10 percent, so, yay? No. The economy still shed 22,000 jobs, despite hiring from the Census Bureau, and the number of people who have basically given up is growing — long-term unemployed (people jobless for 27 weeks and over) has gone up to 6.3 million, and the number of “discouraged workers” has gone to 1.1 million from 734,000 last year. And it looks like they have reason to be discouraged. Bloomberg spoke to a small local-business owner called Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway has cut about 3,000 jobs since December. “If you look at our carpet business, our brick business, our insulation business, all of those businesses have had significant reductions in employment,” Buffett said in an interview in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 20. “The day the orders come in, we hire back. But there’s no reason to hire people if they don’t have anything to do.”

Employment Situation Summary [BLS]
U.S. Unemployment Fell to 9.7% in January; Payrolls Drop 20,000 [Bloomberg]