243,000 jobs created, but are the gains real?

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As the 2012 elections continue to ramp up, President Obama finally got some good news.

On Friday, The Labor Department estimated on Friday that the economy gained 243,000 jobs and that unemployment has dropped to 8.3% (the lowest since February 2009).

Not only has the unemployment rate made a significant drop, but hourly pay has also increased. According to The Atlantic, manufacturing added 50,000 workers, its second biggest monthly gain since the 1990s. And what’s more, unemployment rates dropped for those people who never attended college dropping from 13.8% to 13.1%.

And it gets better, still! Job creation appears to be accelerating at an impressive rate. In November 157,000 jobs were added, in December 203,000, and finally, in January 243,000 according to the payroll survey.

Despite the sorry summer of 2011, the economy boasted an added 1.95 million jobs within the last 12 months — the best figure in the past five years.

The household survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was even more optimistic, putting employment growth at 631,000 for January.

But could this news be too good to be true?

Well, yes and no.

While the department has reported the 243,000 job gain it has also been estimated that the economy lost 2,689,000 jobs in the month of January, as temporary Christmas jobs end. So, does this mean the numbers are no longer credible? Or at the very least overstated?
 

The New York Times reports that it appears the good news is real and that the economy is indeed gaining momentum, even if the January gain does turn out to be overstated.


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