Friday, March 09, 2007

Unemployment rate drops to 4.5 percent, Economy Strong

Yeah, we need to do something about thhose Bush tax breaks...

From the AP:

The nation's unemployment rate dipped to 4.5 percent in February even as big losses of construction and factory jobs restrained overall payroll growth. Wages grew briskly.

The latest snapshot, released by the Labor Department on Friday, offered a picture of an employment climate that remains in fundamentally good shape despite slower job growth in part due to bad winter weather in parts of the country, economists said.

The slight decline in the politically prominent jobless rate, from 4.6 percent in January, came as hundreds of thousand of people left the work force, a development that economists also believe was related to the bad weather in February that made it difficult to get out and look for jobs.

Employers, meanwhile, added 97,000 new jobs to their payrolls in February, the fewest in two years, as bad winter weather forced construction companies to slash 62,000 jobs, the most since 1991. Factories, feeling the strain of the troubled housing and auto industries, also continued to cut jobs. They eliminated 14,000 positions last month.

On a more encouraging note, job gains in the previous two months turned out to be stronger than previously estimated. Employers added 226,000 new jobs in December, versus the 206,000 last estimated. Payrolls grew by 146,000 in January, up from a previous estimate of 111,000.

The new tally of jobs added to the economy in February was close to economists' forecast for a gain of around 100,000. They had predicted the unemployment rate would hold steady at 4.6 percent.


Workers' wages grew quickly last month.

Average hourly earnings rose to $17.16, a 0.4 percent increase from January. That was slightly faster than the 0.3 percent gain economists were expecting. Over the 12 months ending in February, wages grew by 4.1 percent.


In other economic news, the
Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit narrowed to $59.1 billion in January as U.S. exports climbed to an all-time high.


This all sounds very good to me. Add to that, the record amount of revenue coming into the tax coffers and it is like magic!

Hey Democrats, maybe you can learn from my gran pappy, IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT!