Unemployment Drops to 7.7%

A slow and steady decline in the unemployment rate seems to be underway, despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Last month, CBS Money Watch reported that the unemployment dropped to 7.8%, the first time it had fallen below 8% since February 2009.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that it dropped again to 7.7% for November.

On Oct. 5, the US Labor Department said "total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 114,000 in September, lowering unemployment 0.3 percentage points, from 8.1 percent in August. That brought the number of unemployed Americans down by 456,000 last month, to 12.1 million." -Money Watch

Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post

The November jobs report was pleasantly surprising to those who expected ugly numbers as a result from the Northeast reeling from Sandy. Unemployment is, in fact, trending the way it was expected to without a severe storm affecting it: The BLS said total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November. Employment increased in retail trade, professional and business services and health care. The biggest category in job gains was retail, which added 53,000 positions.

Neil Irwin wrote in the Washington Post, "Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement that 'while more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression.'"

In their "Frequently Asked Questions" page, The BLS says that "unusually severe weather is more likely to have an impact on average weekly hours than on employment," which may be part of the reason unemployment figures did not surge after Sandy.

Money Watch also reported that in order to keep up with the number of people entering the workforce, the economy needs to create between 90,000 and 125,000 jobs per month. With the 114,000 jobs created in October and the 146,000 created in November, it appears the U.S. really has begun to heal from one of its greatest recessions.

 

Thumbnail photo credit: Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post

In This Inspiring Pageant, Young Women Show Off Their Talents As Leaders!

The Ivy Girl Academy is a leadership training program for teenage girls in South Jordan, Utah, and it culminates with a pageant that's a little different from the typical kind of beauty contest. At the Ivy Girl pageants, the contestants showcase leadership skills that they've developed over the course of their time with the Academy. Leading up to the pageant is a four-month intensive program consisting of 30 hours of service, character-building challenges, and mentorship of younger Ivy Girls through community clubs.

Keep reading... Show less

Low-Income Students Get To Plant Seeds Of Change In This New Community Garden

Started as a social experiment in Venice Beach, California, the Community Healing Gardens has grown into so much more. Co-founder Nicole Landers initially wanted to develop a framework for introducing new and long-standing residents of her neighborhood to one another, and her mind made a natural leap.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

When Communities Face Unemployment, Starbucks Wants To Train And Inspire

Most people know them for their coffee, but that's not why we're celebrating Starbucks today. Because coffee is not what brought a young Kenyarah Williams to Starbucks' doors. What she wanted was a solid job, and that's what Starbucks offered her. Kenyarah had her first child at eighteen, and she quickly found herself working three jobs to support a growing family. When she started at Starbucks as a barista 9 years ago, her place of employment was outside of her neighborhood of Englewood in Chicago. Today, Kenyarah is thriving as a store manager at a shop in Englewood, and is helping to bring opportunities like the one she grabbed to other young people in her community.

Keep reading... Show less

5 Rescue Shelters That Are Finding Dogs Love And Furever Homes

We've met a lot of amazing organizations and non-profits over the years, especially ones that do amazing things to help shelter dogs, who are close to euthanasia, find love and forever homes. Some of these organizations are small and community based, while others cover a larger regional or national footprint. No matter their size, what they do to support these dogs is nothing short of inspirational.

Keep reading... Show less

Beloved Minor League Bat Dog Dies From Cancer

The Trenton Thunder, a minor league baseball affiliate of the NY Yankees, has an unusual way of getting through the dog days of summer. If you attend their home games, you will find Golden Retrievers serving as the "bat dogs" and mascots for the minor league baseball team.

Keep reading... Show less

Air Hollywood Helps Families and Kids With Autism Build Confidence For Traveling

Air Hollywood is the world's largest aviation-themed entertainment studio, but that's not the only feature that makes it special. Every year, for one night only, Air Hollywood opens its hangar to the public for a special event called Open Sky for Autism.

Keep reading... Show less

Catch A Lift Fund Is Transforming Wounded Veterans' Lives Through Fitness

Do you ever wonder how veterans cope with life once they come home from combat? After being trained to be on high-alert 24/7, what's it like for them to integrate back into everyday society? It raises the question: our military members protect us, but who protects them?

Keep reading... Show less
Fans' Top 5 Hits

Meet Jack, An 11-Year-Old Who Runs His Way to Trophies and Medals With Prosthetic Legs

Jack Cunningham is a normal kid. He does well in school. He loves playing sports and hanging out with friends and family. He also happens to be missing both of his legs... But he hasn't let his condition stop him from living life to the fullest.

Keep reading... Show less