The first month of 2012 turned out to be the best in three years in terms of the ongoing unemployment crisis in the U.S. Although 8.3 percent is nothing to get too excited about, it was supposed to tally up at 8.5 percent for January, so we’ll take it. But whether the recovery, as suggested here, is “for real” or not remains to be seen. —KA
The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The 243,000 increase in jobs was the biggest in nine months and exceeded the most optimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Service industries grew by the most in a year, according to a separate report.
“We’ve reached an important threshold here,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York. “The recovery is for real.”