U.S. unemployment rate down to 8.3%
February 3rd, 2012
09:32 AM ET

U.S. unemployment rate down to 8.3%

American employers substantially stepped up their hiring in January, bringing the unemployment rate down for the fifth month in a row.

Employers added 243,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported Friday, marking a pick-up in hiring from December, when the economy added 203,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3%. That is the lowest since February 2009.

Job growth was much stronger than expected. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney had forecast 130,000 jobs added in the month, and that the unemployment rate likely ticked up to 8.6%.

"This is an optimistic jobs report, especially in light of very poor jobs reports for almost three years," said Brian Hamilton, CEO of Sageworks, a financial information company. "We don't know if the positive jobs trend will continue, but it is definitely a good trend."

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Filed under: Economy • Jobs
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. leeintulsa


    February 3, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. hamsta

    They wont tell you the real number which is somewhere around 20 percent.

    February 3, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • tensor

      Yes, absolutely. Most "new" jobs are low wage, part time, no benefits, better than nothing, and unlikely to sustain a family of more than one + a pet. You have to factor in the past 3+ years of those under 50 who have reluctantly aged out of the employment market that only wants low wage younger workers, as well as Americans who gave up and returned to school, and those who simply grew depressed, beat down and quit looking for what wasn't there. It's still very much a buyers market, with employers taking advantage of anxious, overqualified desperate masses. Thanks again, Big Banking/Wall St.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Big Game James

    Why are the Democrats not promoting this? This is good news. I know some of the numbers don't reflect the amount of people whose unemployment benefits have been exhausted but the job growth alone is worth touting.

    February 3, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tcr C2

    Roadsniper where are you?

    February 3, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tcr C2

    People need to get creative and create there own jobs , the US government is not capable of doing so they are however able to put people in bad economic situations like the last 3-4 years when the housing market and financers got greedy. But everyone needs to become self reliant

    February 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    I'm just waiting to see what kind of negativities the naysayers can spin into this. These jobs may not be in your particular field, but it is a step in the right direction. Good job Mr. President on your policies.

    February 3, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      You've already read how the naysayers will react.
      There are some who would condemn our POTUS if he solved every problem in the entire world...just because of who he is....

      February 3, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO ©

    We went up to 7.6% in Canada. Soon, we will catch you – or you will catch us – I'm not sure which way to look at it. But the numbers are calculated differently anyway.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    @ banasy

    I know it's a shame they refuse to give credit where it's due. They've been dogging him forever over his " failed policies ". Now that those said policies are bearing fruit, it's quiet on that side as usual. It's going to be interesting to see how the republican candidates are going to try to spin this.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. leeintulsa

    it obviously because newt is hanging in there..

    February 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Needs Vacation

    Something about this doesn't feel right - not passing the smell test.

    There must have been a large mistake at the LBS while calculating these numbers, nonetheless, it wouldn't be the first time numbers have been miscalculated. Housing Bureau doubled their figures 2 months ago leading the economy to believe twice the number of foreclosed homes were sold in 2011.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      there it is, banasy. they must've added it up wrong..

      February 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • DOH!

      Good grief. I just love it when GOP trolls try to sow a seed of doubt with only BS. Go on vacation already.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©


      Of course.
      It didn’t even take that long.
      Something smells, all right, and it’s not the numbers…

      February 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    Considering the situation our president inherited on a number of fronts, this news should help us understand that there's no such thing as "instant gratification" when it comes to turning around an economy. Besides, we also have seen how a president can only do so much without a congress that at least considers and compromises on his ideas. The long-term unemployed, who lost their jobs when things tightened up, need to realistically re-evaluate their employability after a long hyatus and get some training/education or risk never working...period. Besides, likely some of these folks may have been seen as dead weight or "problem employees" by their former boss and they need to look at that possibility too and maybe make some changes in their work habits, attitude, etc. Regardless, this is good news and the president should be at least partially applauded for his efforts.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fernace

    Ahhh, what would we do w/out the "naysayers"! This is excellent news & but the "partisans"hate it because it means Obamas policies work after all! I didn't like Bush as a governor or a president but I supported him because I had respect for his position! I even supported the Afghanistan occupation while we hunted binLaden! Of course after that he lost me, but that's another story! My point is, to find something negative in good news because your party didn't create it, is defeatist! What y'all are saying is you don't want anything good coming from this president, even if he sent us all a million $ check to make us all millionaires! You'd rather have Mitt or Newt! I'll take the smartest, most compassionate, & classiest President we've had in a while! His whole family is a testament to "family values!" Thanks, Mr. President, see you next 4!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |


    The unemployment rate just dropped to 8.5%! Oops! I misspoke! I mean 8.3%! Sorry Mitt and GOPbags! Haahahahahaha!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |

    Before you know it the unemployment rate is going to be under 6% and the entire GOPbag party is going to drink Kool-Aid! But not before Mr. Boehner weeps!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mainstream

    I disagree with the numbers! Those numbers can't be accurate! They can't be because most of these Americans hired were hired to look for the WMD's! Hahahahaha! Obama/Biden2012!

    February 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
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