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Keeping Track: America's workforce

Layoffs get noticed, but new jobs pile up, too

Despite a recent wave of jobs cuts (dotcom layoffs were tracked in this space last week, and deep cuts by major manufacturers were also mentioned), the United States is coming off a decade of significant workforce growth overall.

In January 1991, about 107 million Americans were employed. This January, preliminary estimates put the figure at more than 130 million.

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A few analysts have pointed out that 4.2 percent unemployment is quite low in historical terms. Others allow that in a service and information economy that relies heavily on "human capital," new waves of workers will continue to be required.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society