Updated at: 02/07/2014 2:58 PM
The Associated Press
(AP) WASHINGTON - WASHINGTON (AP) â€” The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent in December as college graduates flooded the job market, and most found work.
Among workers older than 25, a huge 668,000 college graduates began looking for work last month, according to the Labor Department report issued Friday. And a nearly equal number of college graduates â€” 663,000 â€” were hired as U.S. workers continue to become better educated. Their hiring caused the unemployment rate to drop slightly for college graduates.
Not every social group benefited from the unemployment rate's decline to its lowest level since October 2008. The rate rose for African-Americans, Hispanics, and workers younger than 24.
The government's January jobs report had yet to fully register the expiration of an emergency federal program that provided unemployment benefits to people jobless for more than six months. Nearly 1.4 million Americans lost their benefits.
The share of unemployed Americans who have been without a job for at least half a year declined last month.
|Unemployment rate by group:|
|(Numbers in percentages)||Jan. 2014||Dec. 2013||Jan. 2013|
|20-24 years old:||11.9||11.1||14.3|
|25-54 years old:||5.6||5.8||6.7|
|55 and over:||4.5||5.1||6|
|Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan*:||7.9||7.3||11.7|
|No high school diploma:||9.6||9.8||12|
|High school graduate:||6.5||7.1||8.1|
|Duration of Unemployment:|
|Average length (weeks):||35.4||37.1||35.4|
|Jobless 6 months or more (pct):||35.8||37.7||37.9|
|* not seasonally adjusted|
|Source: Labor Department|
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