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Recovering US job numbers offer Obama little cheer

Business Times - 13 Mar 2012


Recovering US job numbers offer Obama little cheer

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

THAT the American economy added 227,000 jobs in February has to be construed as good news for President Barack Obama as he heads into the general election in November.

While it's true that according to the US Labor Department's jobs report issued last Friday, the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 per cent - and this is the number that the Republicans will be focusing on - the White House has to be content because it is now in a position to assert that the performance of the American economy has been making a slow but steady progress.

It should be recalled that before Mr Obama took office, America had lost 4.4 million jobs. At that time, the unemployment rate was only 6.7 per cent, but the American economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. And the main concern among economists at the time was that unless the trend of long-term unemployment was arrested, the Great Rec…