January Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate Up to 7.9 Percent, 157,000 Jobs Added in January

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Workers lay streetcar track on Loyola Avenue in New Orleans, in this Nov. 8, 2012 photo. (Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

 

 ABC NEWS

Feb. 1, 2013

The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January, as the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, according to data from the Labor Department.

“This jobs figure today indicates that the engine of the economy  is revving, but the car isn’t going anywhere,” said Tom di Galoma, managing director with financial services firm, Navigate Advisors LLC.

Employment numbers for November were revised higher to 247,000 from 161,000. For December, they were also revised higher to 196,000 from 155,000.

“The uncertainty will be around what happens with government jobs, because the uncertain impact of the fiscal cliff in December may have led to some layoffs in January,” said Kevin Dunning, global economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit. “Even though it was ultimately resolved on Jan. 1, some federal government workers may have been laid off.”

Still, “it looks like hiring has been quite resilient despite all the fiscal uncertainty, and so our expectation is that employment continued to climb in January,” he said.

“But it may be a bit diminished because we’ve had quite a strong trend for the last six months, and we’ve always expected that the fiscal tightening will weigh on the economy in early 2013. So, our thought will be that there will be slightly slower job growth than we got used to in the second half of 2012.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, for the week ending Jan. 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 368,000, an increase of 38,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 330,000. The four-week moving average was 352,000, an increase of 250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 351,750.

Stephen Bronars, a senior economist with Welch Consulting in Washington D.C. cautions people not to “overreact” to January’s jobs report.

“Careful observers examine the size of the seasonal adjustment. January is a very difficult month for the BLS to forecast,” he said.

Typically, payroll falls by 2.8 million between December and January because of seasonal workers’ leaving jobs after the holidays, he said. But a report released Thursday by payroll provider ADP noted that private-sector employment increased by 192,000 for January 2013, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

This report, which does not include government or public jobs data, noted that goods-producing employment increased by 15,000 jobs in January, primarily fueled by a 15,000 increase in construction jobs. Manufacturing jobs, however, were down by 3,000.

Service jobs, including restaurant workers, health care workers, housekeepers, teachers and retail sales positions, increased by 177,000, with professional/business services adding 40,000 jobs for the month. the ADP report said. Trade/transportation/utilities added 33,000 jobs, and financial services added 12,000 jobs.

Businesses with 49 or fewer employees added 115,000 jobs in January, according to the ADP report. Employment levels among medium-size companies, that is, those with 50 to 499 employees, rose by 79,000, while employment at companies with 500 or more employees fell by 2,000.

Carlos A. Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP, said in a statement that private sector employers created an average of 183,000 new jobs per month during the past three months, “an encouraging sign of steady improvement in the job market.”

Economist Bronars noted that in January 2012, nonfarm payroll grew by 275,000 after seasonal adjustment (even though unadjusted payroll declined by 2.67 million), the biggest single month gain in the past 30 months.

“Even though jobs are being created, people who gave up searching for work are coming back into the labor force and will be counted as unemployed until they find work,” Bronars said.

ABC News’ Abby Ellin contributed to this report.

To learn more about Made in USA Certification: http://www.USA-C.com

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Group Finds More Fake Ingredients in Popular Foods

By JIM AVILA and SERENA MARSHALL | Good Morning America –

 

ABC News Video

It’s what we expect as shoppers—what’s in the food will be displayed on the label.

But a new scientific examination by the non-profit food fraud detectives the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), discovered rising numbers of fake ingredients in products from olive oil to spices to fruit juice.

“Food products are not always what they purport to be,” Markus Lipp, senior director for Food Standards for the independent lab in Maryland, told ABC News.

In a new database to be released Wednesday, and obtained exclusively by ABC News today, USP warns consumers, the FDA and manufacturers that the amount of food fraud they found is up by 60 percent this year.

USP, a scientific nonprofit that according to their website “sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide” first released the Food Fraud Database in April 2012.

The organization examined more than 1,300 published studies and media reports from 1980-2010. The update to the database includes nearly 800 new records, nearly all published in 2011 and 2012.

Among the most popular targets for unscrupulous food suppliers? Pomegranate juice, which is often diluted with grape or pear juice.

“Pomegranate juice is a high-value ingredient and a high-priced ingredient, and adulteration appears to be widespread,” Lipp said. “It can be adulterated with other food juices…additional sugar, or just water and sugar.”

Lipp added that there have also been reports of completely “synthetic pomegranate juice” that didn’t contain any traces of the real juice.

USP tells ABC News that liquids and ground foods in general are the easiest to tamper with:

  • Olive oil: often diluted with cheaper oils
  • Lemon juice: cheapened with water and sugar
  • Tea: diluted with fillers like lawn grass or fern leaves
  • Spices: like paprika or saffron adulterated with dangerous food colorings that mimic the colors

Milk, honey, coffee and syrup are also listed by the USP as being highly adulterated products.

Also high on the list: seafood. The number one fake being escolar, an oily fish that can cause stomach problems, being mislabeled as white tuna or albacore, frequently found on sushi menus.

National Consumers League did its own testing on lemon juice just this past year and found four different products labeled 100 percent lemon juice were far from pure.

“One had 10 percent lemon juice, it said it had 100 percent, another had 15 percent lemon juice, another…had 25 percent, and the last one had 35 percent lemon juice,” Sally Greenberg, Executive Director for the National Consumers League said. “And they were all labeled 100 percent lemon juice.”

Greenberg explains there are indications to help consumers pick the faux from the food.

“In a bottle of olive oil if there’s a dark bottle, does it have the date that it was harvested?” she said. While other products, such as honey or lemon juice, are more difficult to discern, if the price is “too good to be true” it probably is.

“$5.50, that’s pretty cheap for extra virgin olive oil,” Greenberg said. “And something that should raise some eyebrows for consumers.”

Many of the products USP found to be adulterated are those that would be more expensive or research intensive in its production. “Pomegranate juice is expensive because there is little juice in a pomegranate,” Lipp said.

But the issue is more than just not getting what you pay for.

“There’s absolutely a public health risk,” said John Spink, associate director for the Anti-Counterfeit and Product Protection Program (A-CAPPP) at Michigan State University. “And the key is the people that are unauthorized to handle this product, they are probably not following good manufacturing practices and so there could be contaminates in it.”

Spink recommends purchasing from “suppliers, retailers, brands, that have a vested interest in keeping us as repeat customers.”

Both the FDA and the Grocery Manufacturers Association say they take food adulteration “very seriously.”

“FDA’s protection of consumers includes not only regulating and continually monitoring food products in interstate commerce for safety and sanitation, but also for the truthfulness and accuracy of their labels,” the FDA said in a statement to ABC News.

Most recently the FDA issued an alert for pomegranate juice mislabeled as 100 percent pomegranate juice, as well as one for the adulteration of honey.

The Grocery Manufacturers of America told ABC News in a statement that “ensuring the safety and integrity of our products – and maintaining the confidence of consumers – is the single most important goal of our industry,” and that their members have “robust quality management programs and procedures in place, including analytical testing, to help ensure that only the safest and highest quality products are being offered to consumers.”

Team USA To Be Decked Out in Uniforms Made in China

ABC News’ Sharyn Alfonsi reports:


They are the pride of America – Team U.S.A. – and for the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in London, they’ll be proudly wearingred, white and blue, from beret to blazer.

The classic American style – shown in an image above – was crafted by designer Ralph Lauren. But just how American is it?

When ABC News looked at the labels, it found “made in China.”

Every item in the uniforms that the U.S. athletes will be wearing at the opening ceremony in London will carry an overseas label.

Nanette Lepore, one of the top U.S. fashion designers, said she was shocked that none of the uniforms had been made in the states. Further, Lepore said that it was “absolutely” possible that the athletes could have been outfitted in U.S.-made clothing. She said U.S. manufactures could have easily made the uniforms – and for less.

Here’s how much the uniforms cost:

Men:
Beret – $55
Tie – $125
Belt – $85
Shirt – $425
Blazer – $795
Trousers – $295
Shoes – $165

Women: 
Beret – $55
Scarf – $58
Belt – $85
Shirt – $179
Skirt – $498
Blazer – $598

“Why shouldn’t we have pride not only in the American athletes, but in the American manufacturers and laborers who are the backbone of our country?” Lepore said to ABC News. “Why? What’s wrong? Why was that not a consideration?”

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Walmart ‘Great for You’ Healthy Labels: Nutrition Experts Say ‘Devil in the Details’

 

BY BRIAN JOHNSON AND ENJOLI FRANCIS  –  WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012

As Walmart announced plans today to label certain foods with a new green “Great for You” label, some diet and nutrition experts told ABC News they applauded the move, while others questioned whether a company that sells food could set objective standards for what is healthy.

Dr. Darwin Deen, a family doctor and nutrition educator, told ABC News that “an independent opinion of a food’s healthfulness is a good idea but as always, the devil is in the details.”

Walmart, the largest food retailer in United States, will put the new label on select products that meet defined criteria.in its Great Value and Marketside lines. Customers will begin to see the new label on products starting in the spring.

The company said the “Great for You” products meet the rigorous nutrition criteria established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Institute of Medicine.

“Moms are telling us they want to make healthier choices for their families but need help deciphering all the claims and information already displayed on products,” said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. Read more of this post

Made in USA: 30 Day Journey

"We're willing to DIE for our country, but are we willing to BUY for it?"

"We're willing to DIE for our country, but are we willing to BUY for it?"

Josh Miller of ‘Made in USA: 30 Day Journey‘ is asking us one simple question.

“We’re willing to DIE for our country, but are we willing to BUY for it?”

Josh and his film crew will set out on a journey in which he will live off USA made products for 30 days. During his travels, he will speak and interview business-owners, homeowners, politicians, economists and American consumers to find out, among other things, what ‘Made in America’ means to them.  We will help Josh and his crew verify the made in USA claim with the help and support of Made in USA Certified.

Their goal is to raise $5,000 for the film during this campaign.  A $10 donation will get your name in the rolling credits of the film under “Minutemen”.  How cool will that be!

We believe Josh and his crew are a part of the Made In America Movement.  This film will help gain more exposure for this Movement.  This is why we are asking for your support.

Diane Sawyer & David Muir of World News with Diane Sawyer made everyone across the nation aware of this Movement last year with their ‘Made in America’ segments on ABC News, asking you all if you are “IN”.  Now we are asking you, are you in?

Let’s help Josh Miller on his journey.  Go to the link below. Donate your $10 (or more!) and let them know you are a proud supporter of the Made in America Movement.  Your support and donations really do matter!

Made in USA: 30 day Journey donation page I’M IN!

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