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Jobless Rate At 3 Year Low As Payrolls Surge (Obama now a favorite to win re-election)

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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-12 05:49 PM
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Jobless Rate At 3 Year Low As Payrolls Surge (Obama now a favorite to win re-election)
Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON | Fri Feb 3, 2012 5:35pm EST

(Reuters) - The United States created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to a near three-year low, giving a boost to President Barack Obama.

Nonfarm payrolls jumped 243,000, the Labor Department said on Friday, as factory jobs grew by the most in a year. The jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent - the lowest since February 2009 - from 8.5 percent in December.

The gain in employment was the largest since April and it far outstripped the 150,000 predicted in a Reuters poll of economists. It hinted at underlying economic strength and lessened chances of further stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

"More pistons in the economic engine have begun to fire, pointing to accelerating economic growth. One of the happiest persons reading this job report is President Obama," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University Channel Islands.

Read more:

More at above link

Well, well, well! Looks like people should have went and bet when Obama was an underdog to win re-election. I have no money or I would have if I had plenty to spare, and put a $100 down on a victory over Mittens!

Jobs Report A Potential Turning Point In Obama's Reelection Year (MORE at link - )
By David Lauter

February 3, 2012, 1:50 p.m.
Reporting from Washington

If President Obama wins re-election in November, Friday's jobs report may be remembered as the turning point when he shifted from slight underdog to favorite.

"Where are the jobs?" has been the question at the heart of the Republican case against Obama. Mitt Romney's campaign turns on the claim that his experience in the private sector taught him how to create new jobs. Obama, by contrast, has "failed" in that endeavor, he repeatedly says.

January's growth a net of 243,000 new jobs created, the most in nine months and almost double what most economists had forecast undermines that argument, both Democratic and Republican strategists agreed. The problem may not be fatal for the GOP, but if the growth continues through the spring and summer, "there's no way in the world that you can deny it helps Obama's case," said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster.

The election-deciding question now is likely to be whether the economy does, in fact, sustain its current growth rate. Obama and his aides have bitter experience on that score: Both of the past two years, economic growth perked up in the winter or early spring, only to collapse again in the summer. Europe's debt problems, rising gasoline prices and the continued loss of jobs in state and local governments, which shed a net of 14,000 positions even as the private sector expanded by 257,000, all have potential to derail the economy.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-12 08:52 PM
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1. Lots of good news on the economy recently. Here's hoping it continues improving.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-12 11:15 PM
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2. The data was tortured until it said what the inquisitors wanted to hear.
The actual number of jobs in the US economy has declined by 2.9 million in the past few months.

Only by applying renormalizations and seasonal adjustments is the BLS able to paint that as a positive gain. Some adjustments are defensible, but the numbers here (an upward adjustment of 3.3 million jobs) can only be described as magical.

Treasury data shows trailing payroll withholding tax receipts went down over the period of this "increase." There is no way to spin that. If there were more people working, withholding receipts would be going up.

Read this Zero Hedge article to see the man behind the curtain.

Anyone who wants to see the raw data can do so at the BLS website. / I wish a few journalists would try it someday.

Now having said all that, the news is better than it could have been. The March numbers are traditionally less-cooked and will give a better idea of whether there's a trend.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-12 11:51 PM
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3. thank you for that valuable input. as you said, at least it's better than expected however.
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