Page 6-Saturday, May 6, 1978-The Michigan Daily
WASHINGTON (AP) - The unem- economy, we do not expect to see
ployment rate in April dropped to six unemployment continue declining at
per cent for the first time since the start this rate," said William Cox, deputy
of the recession, surprising government chief economist for the Commerce
economists yesterday. Department.
However, they said job-seekers "We are a little apprehensive that the
should not expect the employment rate might go back up," Cox said.
outlook to show further improvement Administration officials have not
for a while. changed their forecast of a 6.2 per cent
unemployment rate at the end of the
THE LABOR Department said the year.
unemployment rate dropped from 6.2 DURING APRIL, the proportion of
per cent in March to six per cent in the working age population holding jobs
April as 535,000 new jobs opened up. rose from 58.2 per cent to a record 58.4
The six per cent rate was the lowest per cent. In the early 1960s it averaged
since a 5.9 per cent rate in October 1974, about 55 per cent. The working age
at the start of the mid-1970s recession. population includes people who are not
Unemployment peaked at 9.1 per cent employed or looking for work.
in May 1975 before dropping to 7.1 per Total employment rose 535,000 in
cent in April 1977 and 6.1 per cent last April to a record 93.8 million, the depar-
February. tment said.
Government economists said the job About 170,000 of these jobs were held
situation has improved faster than they by coal miners who returned to work af-
expected from looking at other ter their strike. However, coal miners
economic figures. had not been counted among the unem-
"BASED ON our general view of the ployed.
, for the moment
THE END of the strike pushed total
mining employment to 893,000, the
highest level in 25 years.
A building boom which came after a
cold, damp winter created thousands of
new jobs for construction workers. The
department said construction em-
ployment rose by 175,000 to an all-time
high of 4.2 million. Their unem-
ployment rate declined from 11.3 to 9.5
The unemployment rates for some of
the categories in April included:
* Adult men 4.2 per cent, down from
4.5 per cent in March.
* Adult women 5.8 per cent, the same
as in March.
* Blacks 11.8 per cent, a decline from
12.4 per cent.
* Black teen-agers 35.3 per cent,
down from 39 per cent.
* Blue-collar workers 6.5 per cent,
down from 7.1 per cent.
* Vietnam-era veterans 4.5 per cent,
down from five per-cent.
The report showed average hourly
earnings for April were $5.60, up six
cents from March and 45 cents from a
year earlier. Average weekly earnings
increased by $2.71 over the month to
Robert Strauss, who is leading
President Carter's anti-inflation
program, says he is trying to get union
leaders to accept cost-of-living increase
rather than big wage increases. That
way, workers have insurance against
inflation but will not be contributing to
it as much, he said.
Jaywalkers in DC
pay for recklessness
WASHINGTON (AP) - A ticket for
jay-walking? C'mon, officer.
Yup. Five bucks. -
NO MATTER that it was a one-way
street, the traffic had passed, and it
was raining buckets.
"Only a fool would stand here waiting
for a sign to say go," the lady pleaded.
"That's not the point," the officer
IN A NEW, highly enforced program
designed to reduce pedestrian deaths,
the District of Columbia gave 1,866 little
pink slips to errant walkers in the mon-
th of March alone - and police say they
expect to give 10,000 before the year is
Jaywalking prevention programs
exist in many cities, including Chicago,
Detroit, Los Angeles and St. Louis, ac-
cording to the National Safety Council.
But not all cities enforce their
programs so vigorously.
So far in Washington, it seems to be
POLICE FATALITY figures show
that as of May last year, there had been
15 pedestrians killed. So far this year,
there have been seven. No one can say,
of course, whether the program can
take the credit for the drop in
pedestrian deaths. But it's likely that at
least some of any of those 7,840
pedestrians ticketed last year are
thinking twice before jaywalking again.
Capt. Wayne Layfield said he expan-
ded the pedestrian program last
January with a $33,000 grant from the
Now the District has five officers
working on overtime during the
evening rush hour at downtown points
where there are the most violations,
said Layfield, who is commanding of-
ficer of the traffic enforcement branch.
"THEIR JOB is to enforce the
pedestrian regulation which means
walk only when the sign says so and to
catch drivers who don't yield the right
of way to pedestrians, a violation that
costs five points on a driver's license,"
Layfield conceded it would be
cheaper not to use police officers for
such assignments. And he said the
reason he uses officers on overtime is:
"They're the only ones available."
But, he added, "One problem with
using meter maids is that citizens know
they are not really police officers, and
in face-to-face confrontations they give
the meter maids more trouble.
The city has dropped the three-hour
classes it offered last year to
pedestrians who didn't want to pay the
fine. "Few people wanted to take the
time to go," Layfield said. "It was
easier just to pay the $5."