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US unemployment rate falls to 7.7 percent

Nation adds 236K jobs

Posted: March 8, 2013 - 8:47am
In this Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 photo, Ann Oganesian, left, of Newton, Mass., pauses as she speaks with a State Department employee about job opportunities with the federal government during a job fair in Boston. U.S. employers ramped up hiring in February, adding 236,000 jobs and pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January.   AP Photo / Michael Dwyer
AP Photo / Michael Dwyer
In this Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 photo, Ann Oganesian, left, of Newton, Mass., pauses as she speaks with a State Department employee about job opportunities with the federal government during a job fair in Boston. U.S. employers ramped up hiring in February, adding 236,000 jobs and pushing the unemployment rate down to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January.
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WASHINGTON — A burst of hiring in February added 236,000 U.S. jobs and reduced the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January. The strong job growth showed that employers are confident about the economy despite higher taxes and government spending cuts.

The February jobs report issued Friday provided encouraging details: The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in four years. Job growth has averaged more than 200,000 a month since November. Wages rose. And the job gains were broad-based, led by the most construction hiring in six years.

The unemployment rate had been stuck at 7.8 percent or above since September. About half the decline in February occurred because more of the unemployed found jobs. A decline in the number of people looking for work accounted for the other half: People who aren’t looking for jobs aren’t counted as unemployed.

Employers did add slightly fewer jobs in January than the government had first estimated. Job gains were lowered to 119,000 from an initially estimated 157,000. Still, December hiring was a little better than first thought, with 219,000 jobs added instead of 196,000.

Robust auto sales and a steady housing recovery are spurring more hiring, which could trigger more consumer spending and stronger economic growth. The construction industry added 48,000 in February and has added 151,000 since September. Manufacturing has gained 14,000 last month and 39,000 since November.

So far, higher gas prices and a Jan. 1 increase in Social Security taxes haven’t caused Americans to cut back on big-ticket purchases.

Across-the-board government spending cuts also kicked in March 1 after the White House and Congress failed to reach a deal to avoid them. Those cuts will likely lead to furloughs and layoffs in coming weeks.

The impact of the tax hikes is partly being offset by higher pay: Hourly wages rose 4 cents to $23.82 last month. Wages have risen 2.1 percent in the past year, slightly ahead of inflation.

A big source of strength has also been home sales and residential construction: New-home sales jumped 16 percent in January to the highest level since July 2008. And builders started work on the most homes last year since 2008.

Home prices rose by the most in more than six years in the 12 months that ended in January. Higher prices tend to make homeowners feel wealthier and more likely to spend.

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9
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bad news for Republicans.

Housing rebounding, unemployment falling, stock market at all-time highs.

Despite all of the Republican obstructionism, this President is getting results and turning this country around. Just think where we would be if they played along. Taxes were raised on the wealthy and we didn't crash. Hmmm, isn't that what the fright-wing was predicting?

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@bsb7140,

The GOTP has been doing everything it could to keep the unemployment levels up. They have been successful in cutting government spending and making toward smaller government, and in doing so, newly unemployed ex-government workers, including teachers and such have helped balance out private employment growth. Now, with the sequester, they're talking about a bunch more government furloughs and lay offs. That'll put more folks out looking for private sector jobs with unemployment remaining high.

The stated GOTP goal during Obama's first term was to ensure that he would be a one term president, and they did everything they could to achieve that goal. As far as I can tell, they're still doing everything they can to ensure that Obama and the Legislature get as little done as possible.

I have hope though. Some GOPs are starting to listen, and, sometimes even vote to get some things done. Some of the GOPs are even criticizing some of the TP darlings. I imagine that they will be called RINOs.

Obama seems to be willing to at least talk to some of the GOTP. Maybe they'll be willing to work somethings out.

I wonder what the GOTP will look like by, and after, the next election or two.

8
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Finally

It has been a hard row ro hoe but we are finally able to see some positive results after the hideous moron administration of Bush.

This weeks actions by our two tea party senators show just how bad the tea party is and how nonconstructive they can be.

2
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Really

@Jeffross Spoken like a true liberal.

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@w5jmdshtx,

Yes, "really".

And thank you. I try.

3
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Actually this is good news

Actually this is good news FOR Republicans. Republicans have been the ones promoting business and the work it generates. It also demonstrates that Free-Enterprise works in spite of attempts to socialize the country. It's difficult to squelch the desire to improve your circumstances. Work is that vehicle.

"@Jeffross Spoken like a true liberal."

Thanks w5jmdshtx, you've hit the nail squarely on the head!

"Free-Enterprise - It let's you be somebody!"

3
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both ways

Wait, the looming sequester didnt kill jobs? The risk of a govt shutdown didnt stop them from hiring? You see liberals, this game goes both ways.

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raising taxes

Raising taxes on the wealthy didn't stymie job growth? Obamacare didn't cause mass layoffs and a downturn in hiring?

Just more fake Republican conspiracies.

4
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Very interesting counterpoint

Very interesting counterpoint bsb1740......

4
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Just like the stimulus...

The Republicans claimed that the stimulus and the debt would cause the bond market to react negatively and drive the cost of borrowing sky-high for the government. Instead, people have actually been paying us to own US bonds. Republicans also claimed that the debt would cause the stock market to tank. We see how that one went -- the stock market set a record this week.

As for the sequester, the government hasn't started to cut jobs yet. That will happen in the next few months. There will be100,000 layoffs to start, that we know of. Could be as many as 700,000. There is no credible way to claim that mass layoffs are good for a fragile economy. The only question now is how badly the sequester will hurt us. Hopefully it will be mild, but there's also good reason to believe that it could be severe.

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