WASHINGTON – The unemployment rate fell from 10.0 to 9.7 percent in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The economy lost 20,000 jobs in January, according to the report.

“While today’s report shows positive signs that the economy is moving in the right direction, the numbers underscore that we still have work to do to get Americans back to work,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Employment fell in construction, transportation and warehousing, while temporary help services and retail trade added jobs, the BLS said.

In January, the BLS reported that the number of unemployed workers decreased to 14.8 million.

“The president made it clear that job creation is our number one focus in 2010,” Solis said.

The unemployment rate in Ohio remained higher than the national average as it climbed to 10.9 percent in December. There were 641,000 unemployed workers in Ohio in December, up from 624,000 in November, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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