The October unemployment rate in the United States edged down 0.1 percentage point, a relatively good news for the U.S. government, but the job market is still in a struggling picture.
U.S. unemployment rate declined from 9.1 percent to 9 percent in October, with nonfarm payroll adding 80,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
In October, job gains occurred in professions, health care and mining. Employment in professions and businesses added 32,000 jobs across different sectors in October, while manufacturing employment changed little and has remained flat for three months. Governments continue to trend down over the month, cutting 24,000 jobs last month due to spending reduction.
Over the past 12 months, payroll employment has increased by an average of 125,000 per month. In October, private-sector employment increased by 104,000.
The total number of unemployed Americans slightly dropped to 13. 9 million in October from 14 million in the previous month, but still almost double the level prior to the recession.
In October, the number of long-term unemployed who have been jobless for at least 27 weeks declined by 366,000 to 5.9 million, accounting for 42.4 percent of the total unemployed, better than 44.6 percent in the previous month.
However, the newly created jobs are far from enough.
The increase in employment last month was the lowest in four months and below September's revised total of 158,000, said the department.
U.S. unemployment rate has remained in a narrow range from 9.0 to 9.2 percent since April.
"The report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic down turn since the Great Depression, but the pace of improvement is not fast enough," said Alan Krueger, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in a statement.
The unemployment rate remains "unacceptably high", Krueger added.
Despite the slight improvement of the unemployment, no one believes that the job market will turn to normal level in the short term.
U.S. economy grew only 0.9 percent in the first half of this year before rose 2.5 percent in the third quarter. The market held that the growth rate in the fourth quarter would be around 2.5 percent and 3 percent, a pace not fast enough to bring down the high unemployment rate.
According to the latest projection of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. economy is expected to grow by 1.6 to 1.7 percent in 2011 and 2.5 percent to 2.9 percent next year.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the central bank is looking for growth and the job market to improve gradually over the next two years, but at a sluggish pace.
In Wednesday's forecast, the central bank saw the unemployment rate to keep at 9.0 percent to 9.1 percent in 2011, and 8.5 percent to 8.7 percent in 2012.
To promote economy to grow faster and create more jobs has become the top priority of the U.S. macroeconomic policy makers.
U.S. President Barack Obama, appearing at the G20 economic summit in Cannes, France, said the U.S. economy is growing "way too slow." He repeated his call for Republicans in Congress to pass his 447 billion dollars jobs bill, a mix of tax cuts and spending on roads and rail lines.
But the Republicans, who have blocked several pieces of the Obama job act, blamed the Democratic administration's economic policies.
Observers said that the battle between the two parties in Washington has cast uncertainty shadow over the economy, which may in turn make the unemployment worse.