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US jobless data: how has unemployment changed under Obama?

Unemployment in America is down but still high. See how it has changed over time
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The US jobless figures are out today and show American unemployment getting better.

The US added another 243,000 jobs last month, the biggest gain since April. The jobless figure is the lowest it has been since February 2009.
Employment grew in December and the jobless rate ‘dropped’ to a near three-year low of 8.5% – although a fall of 0.1%-points is really a static figure, rather than a big fall.

The official data shows:

• 12.8m people are unemployed
• The unemployment rate has declined by 0.8%-points since August
• The unemployment rate for men is down to 7.7% in December
• Rates for other groups are:
Women, 7.7%
Teenagers, 23.2%
White, 7.4%
Black, 13.6%
Hispanic, 10.5%
Asian, 6.7%
• The number of long-term unemployed (for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.5m and accounted for 42.9% of unemployed people

No US president since FDR has won an election with unemployment this high. This shows what’s happened since January 2009, when President Obama took over:

Data released this month by the Labor Department showed 367,000 Americans claiming unemployment insurance, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s figure.

We’ve mapped the unemployment data by state – you can explore it here:

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