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WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the falling unemployment rate is evidence that the economic recovery is "gaining traction."

The jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent last month, the lowest level since President Barack Obama has been in office. Still, White House economist Alan Krueger notes that the new unemployment rate was measured before $85 billion in automatic budget cuts started taking effect.

The administration has warned that the cuts could have a negative impact on employment and economic growth.
Published in National News
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:40

Illinois unemployment rate jumps in January

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The state Department of Employment Security says Illinois unemployment rose to 9 percent in January.

That was up from 8.7 percent in December and back to almost the 9.1 percent rate of January 2012.

Department Director Jay Rowell blamed the uneven recovery the state has experienced since the recession.

The number of unemployed people in the state rose by 4 percent to 594,800. The state added a relatively small 7,100 jobs in January.

The biggest job losses were among companies in the trade, transportation and utilities sector where the state lost a net 5,500 jobs in January. Government agencies also shed a net 1,500 jobs. Educational and health services employers added 5,500 jobs.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in January. That was slightly higher than December.
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:18

Missouri's unemployment rate drops again

Missouri's unemployment rate continues to drop, but slowly.

January's rate dropped one-tenth of a point to 6.6 percent--which is the lower level in over four years.

A spokesperson for the Department of Economic Development says that Missouri's rate has been below the national average for 41 months. The national rate sits at 7.9 percent now.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - People fired for sleeping on the job and missing work could have a harder time getting unemployment benefits under a bill endorsed by the Missouri Senate.

The Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure expanding the definition of "misconduct" in the workplace. The change would make it harder for people to qualify for unemployment insurance after they are fired. Supporters say the bill will protect businesses from liability and give them more freedom to fire employees who misbehave at work. The legislation is sponsored by Republican Sen. Will Kraus, of Lee's Summit. It needs one more affirmative vote in the Senate before moving to the House.
Published in Local News
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