US: January jobless total down 0.4%

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Unemployment figures from the Department of Labor for January show a fall in the US jobless rate from 9.4% to 9% when compared to the previous month. This follows a similar fall in December.

With 36 000 jobs having been created rather than the 140 000 expected, some economists believe that these figures show that the decline is due to people giving up looking for work and thus being excluded from the official count.

At the same time, the total of long-term unemployed showed a slight fall to 6.2 million while those working part-time fell by some 500 000 to 8.4 million.