Unemployment Rates Still Rising

Courtesy of Taylor Media Services | 2/9/2009, 1:02 p.m.

National Jobless Rate Jumps to 7.6 Percent; Black Rate Soars to 12.6 Percent

The recession continued its jobs-destroying grip on the American economy last month. According to data released by the Labor Department Friday, the nation€s unemployment rate jumped from 7.2 percent to 7.6 percent in January as the economy loss 598,000 jobs. This was the largest one-month job loss in 34 years.

Recession has gripped the U.S. economy since December 2007. Since that time an estimated 3.6 million jobs have been loss. The losses has been worse for African Americans. The Black unemployment rate is now 12.6 percent €" up from 11.9 percent in December. This compares to a jobless rate for Hispanics of 9.7 percent (up from 9.2 percent in December) and for whites of 6.9 percent (up from 6.6 percent in December).

The only good news in the employment report was that average weekly earnings rose from $613.05 in December to $614.72 last month. The report could also spur Republican senators to end their current efforts to block passage of President Barack Obama€s $800 billion economic stimulus package.