Friday, February 3, 2012
Good, Very Good: Almost 250,000 Jobs Added in January
The United States' unemployment rate fell to 8.3% in January, which is nice, but the real news is, of course, the jobs number and there the news was very encouraging - 243,000 jobs were added. The BLS report also included upward revisions to the November and December numbers as well, adding another 60,000 jobs. The private sector actually added 257,000 jobs in January but the public sector shed 14,000 jobs.
Last month I was sounding hopeful and got some blowback. I remain hopeful that we are heading in the right direction and we are slowly, very slowly, gaining some momentum. If we were able to sustain job numbers like these it would still take three years to get back to five percent unemployment. But given how bad the economy got, given all of the 'overhang' of foreclosed houses keeping a lid on the housing market and given the banking cataclysm we went through, I think you have to be a realist and understand that it is not all going to get unwound in a few months and take comfort in the clear indication that the economy is now heading in the right direction.
Now let's all hope Europe can figure out its problems and we can all start rowing in the same direction.