Unemployment Dips to 2-Year Low: 192K Jobs Added

The jobless rate falls to 8.9 percent.

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Neil Irwin of the Washington Post is reporting that employers added 192,000 jobs in February, according to the Labor Department on Friday. The number closely matched analysts' expectations, accelerating from a revised 63,000 jobs added in January. The unemployment rate decreased from 9 percent to 8.9 percent.

It is perhaps the best all-around jobs report in three years.

Private employers seem to finally be gaining the confidence to hire. They added 222,000 jobs, partly offset by the loss of 30,000 government jobs. Those gains were broad-based, with every major sector except for retail adding positions. Manufacturers added 33,000 jobs; professional and business services firms added 47,000; and the health care sector added 36,200.

There was less progress, however, on hours and wages. The length of the average workweek was unchanged, at 34.2 hours, and average hourly earnings inched up a penny to $22.87.

New jobs are on the horizon, and just in time for a country that is on the brink of eruption. As we've seen in the pro-democracy movement sweeping the Middle East and Wisconsin, joblessness or the possibility of joblessness does not sit well with citizens.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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