Friday, January 06, 2012
The U.S. economy got a boost by adding 200,000 new jobs last month, according to the Labor Department.
Consumer confidence lifted, factories stepped up production and small businesses showed signs of life. The nation’s unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, its lowest level in nearly two years.
It was the sixth consecutive month that the economy showed a net gain of more than 100,000 jobs — not enough to restore employment to pre-recession levels but enough, perhaps, to cheer President Obama as he enters the election year.
Among the pieces of good news in Friday’s report: The drop in the jobless rate came largely from real gains, not from discouraged workers giving up the job hunt. The new jobs were spread broadly across industries, with transportation and warehousing, retail, manufacturing and restaurants all adding jobs.
Read more at The New York Times.