Just when we were talking up the bright side of the U.S. economy, we had to go and get this news.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent (from 7.8 percent previously), based on a survey of households in which more people reported being unemployed.
BUT! There was lots of good news in this latest report, says the AP: 157,000 jobs were added in January; jobs gains were even higher than expected in November and December; the construction and retail sectors added thousands of jobs; and average hourly wages are $23.78, up 2.1 percent in the past year.
BUT! For every step forward there’s a tiny baby step back. Government spending cuts on things like the military put the kibosh on the economy’s growth in the fourth quarter of 2012. Other cuts go into effect on March 1.
“Still, economists said the seemingly bleak gross domestic product report was not a sign that another recession was looming,” The New York Times says. “The preliminary data showed relatively strong spending by consumers and businesses, even as military spending posted its sharpest quarterly drop in 40 years.”
Are you confident that the economy is on a positive path?