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WH: 'Employment Report Provides Further Evidence that the U.S. Economy Is Continuing to Heal'

9:46 AM, Feb 1, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Today's unemployment rate, which states the unemployment rate has ticked up to 7.9 percent, prompts the White House to say, "[T]oday’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression."

 " It is critical that we pursue the policies needed to build an economy that works for the middle class as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007," writes Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

"Today’s report is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy.  The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances revenue and spending, and replaces the sequester, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protect our most vulnerable citizens.  

"With today’s release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has finalized its benchmark adjustment, and the latest data show that the economy has now added private sector jobs for 35 straight months, and a total of 6.1 million jobs have been added over that period. In 2012, private businesses added 2.2 million payroll jobs.  The first report of private sector job growth for January is that businesses added 166,000 jobs. Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 157,000 jobs last month. The average first report of monthly job growth in 2012 was 142,000; that is now revised up to 181,000 jobs per month.

"The household survey showed that the unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in January, up from 7.8 percent in December. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 63.6 percent in January. Over the last 12 months, the unemployment rate has fallen by 0.4 percentage point, and the labor force participation rate has been essentially unchanged." 

Krueger adds, "it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available."

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