Latest Job Statistics in the U.S. Lower than Expected

October 16, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. revise (v.) 
[ri-vahyz– to change
Example: The government revised the old law on consumer tax, raising it to 8%.

2. weakness (n.) [week-nis] – a quality of someone or something that makes them less good, less valuable or less useful
Example: The politician is very smart but his lack of appeal is his weakness.

3. point out (phrasal v.) [point] [out] – to show or to give attention to something
Example: The reporters pointed out several mistakes in the politician’s speech.

4. address (v.) [uh-dres] – to talk about, discuss
Example: The speaker addressed the audience’s questions about the topic.

5. liken (v.) [lahy-kuh n] – to say that something is similar to another thing
Example: Some people liken politicians to actors because both jobs require a lot of skill in making people believe in something.

Read the text below.

Analysts expected 125,000 new jobs in the business and non-government sector last August. However, data from the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed only 96,000 new jobs were created.

To make matters worse, job reports for the months of June and July had to be corrected, revealing fewer jobs than originally reported. Instead of 64,000 new jobs created in June, only 45,000 new jobs were actually created. For July, the number was revised from 163,000 to just 141,000.

Comparisons with data from last year show a decrease in jobs creation. In 2011, the average number of new jobs created every month was 153,000. This year, the average has fallen to 139,000 a month.

Although the unemployment rate dropped, from July’s 8.3% to 8.1% in August, the decrease was largely because some people had given up looking for work. The BLS only counted jobless people who had been actively searching for work.

The unemployment statistics has been one of the weaknesses of the current president, Barrack Obama. His political rival, Mitt Romney, has been quick to point out the failure of the current government to address the nation’s unemployment issue.  

Romney likens the disappointing employment figures with that of the Great Depression in the 1930s, wherein the US suffered its worst economic recession. If elected as the next president, Romney promises to create 12 million new jobs for Americans.

Many Americans are carefully observing how Romney and Obama discuss the unemployment issue in a series of presidential debates this October.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Should the government help people who are unemployed? Why or why not?
·         Why is it important for politicians to pay attention to people’s unemployment problems?

Discussion B

·         What factors prevent people from getting jobs? What can help people get jobs?
·         What do you think people should do if they have a hard time finding a job?


October 16, 2012