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Saturday, January 05, 2013

Unemployment Rises In December To 7.8%- Women and African-Americans Hit Hardest

By Susan Duclos

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment was at 7.8 percent for December. Some headlines claimed it rose, others reported it was unchanged.

The reason for the conflicting headlines is because November's report claimed unemployment had gone done from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent, but when they issued December's report, they claimed they "revised" November's numbers to 7.8 percent, so the Department of Labor could technically get away with the claim that the unemployment rate was "unchanged."

When those marginally attached to the workforce are added in, the U6 total unemployment remained at 14.4 percent.

In December, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Those hardest hit with the rise of unemployment, were African-Americans and women:

Unemployment for women rose to 7.3 percent in December from 7.0 percent while the rate for African-Americans rose sharply to 14.0 percent from 13.2 percent in November.

Areas still at or above official unemployment rate:

Arizona- 8.1%
California- 9.8%
Connecticut- 8.8%
D.C.- 8.4%
Florida- 8.1%
Georgia- 8.5%
Illinois- 8.7%
Indiana- 8.0%
Kentucky- 8.2%
Michigan- 8.9%
Mississippi- 8.5%
Nevada- 10.8%
New Jersey- 9.6%
New York - 8.3%
North Carolina- 9.1%
Oregon- 8.4%
Pennsylvania- 7.8%
Rhode Island- 10.4%
South Carolina- 8.3%
Tennessee- 8.2%
Washington- 7.8%

Data obtained from Bureau of Labor Statistics on the Local Area Unemployment Statistics page. (Right side)