Analysts are looking at February as a not-so-bad month for unemployment, with the U.S. economy losing fewer jobs than expected for the month, while the unemployment rate remained stubbornly high at 9.7 percent.

Despite the optimism, the economy still shed 36,000 jobs in February. –JCL

The Guardian:

The American economy lost fewer jobs than expected last month and the unemployment rate remained steady at 9.7 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday, bolstering hopes that a still-tenuous recovery may be starting to gain momentum.

The government’s monthly snapshot of the job market found that another 36,000 jobs disappeared in February — hardly cause for a celebration.

Yet compared to the monthly losses of more than 650,000 jobs a year ago, and against a backdrop of recent news that increased the possibility of a slide back into recession, most economists construed the report as a sign of improvement.

“It’s strikingly good,” said Dean Baker, a director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, who has been notably skeptical of signs of recovery in recent months. “It’s much better than it had been looking.”

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