The Labor Department has reported that national unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in nearly two years. The data, which was released on Feb. 4, revealed that the jobless rate fell to 9 percent in January.
The jobless rate has fallen by eight-tenths of a percentage point in the last two months, which is the sharpest decline in more than 50 years. However, the agency conducted a separate survey of businesses that showed lackluster job growth. This reveals that many people who were previously looking for jobs stopped their search last month, thus the government did not include them in their unemployment data.
Approximately 950,000 net new jobs were added in 2010, the report says. This number is down from the previous estimate of 1.1 million. In 2008 and 2009, the recession led to the loss of about 8 million jobs in America. An average of about 83,000 net jobs per month have been generated in the last three months, which is not enough to keep up with the nation's population growth.
Republican lawmakers have stated that job creation will be addressed after Congress tackles Obamacare and other social issues such as abortion. According to The Associated Press, Democrats have criticized the GOP for avoiding job-related issues following their midterm campaigns in which they emphasized the need to reduce the unemployment rate.
Representative Tom Cole (R-Okla.) defended his party, telling the news provider that his colleagues are following through on "commitments we made" by addressing healthcare and abortion.