After three years of essentially lousy employment reports, the January 2012 report was simply better. Job growth exceeded expectations…it occurred in almost every employment classification…hours worked in various sectors rose…and the unemployment rate ticked down for the fifth month in a row.
The U.S. economy added an estimated 243,000 net new jobs during January. In addition, previously estimated job gains of the two prior months were revised higher by 60,000 jobs.
The nation’s unemployment rate declined again to 8.3% in January—the lowest in nearly three years—from 8.5% in December. The current 8.3% jobless rate compares to the 9.1% rate of one year ago, the 9.7% rate of January 2010, and the 7.8% rate during January 2009.
Please note that the consensus forecast of economists was for a rise of roughly 135,000 net new jobs in January, with the unemployment rate staying at 8.5% or moving higher to 8.6%……just shows you what we know…(ouch)