For the second consecutive month, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points, despite the weak job growth reported in the establishment survey. The establishment survey showed a gain of just 36,000 jobs in January, following a revised gain of 121,000 jobs in December. The big gainers in January were white men, who saw their unemployment rate fall by 0.6 percentage points for the second consecutive month; although at 7.9 percent it is still somewhat higher than the 7.0 percent rate for white women, which is a decrease of 0.3 percentage points since December. The unemployment rate for Hispanics also fell by 0.6 percentage points to 11.9 percent. The latest data from the employment-to-population ratio for men is still 7.7 percentage points below its peak in 2000, while the EPOP for women is down by 3.6 percentage points. There was little change in the employment situation of blacks. Their overall unemployment rate of 15.7 percent remains near the peak for the downturn, as does the 45.4 percent unemployment rate for black teens.
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