A 7.7% unemployment rate: Is the economy back?

A help wanted sign is posted outside of a Japanese restaurant on February 7, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the economy added 236,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate falling to 7.7 percent. That's lowest jobless rate since 2008, but where does this leave us in the economic recovery?

"Amazingly, it turns out that American business doesn't pay too much attention to...Washington -- who knew?" joked Reuters' finance reporter Felix Salmon. "I doubt we're going to see uncertainty-related jobs slow down, if you will."

On the other hand, Salmon said he agrees with worries that the sequester will cut into job growth.

"I think it's going to be a little more of a wildcard...because the government agencies don't have to start layoffs right away...they can wait until the end of the fiscal year," said New York Times economics reporter Catherine Rampell. "And I think that a lot of the federal agencies are sort of assuming that Congress might actually decide to wash away what's currently in law as the sequester, so they're holding their breath."


Salmon and Rampell have some tips for good #longreads over the weekend.

Felix Salmon recommends:

And Catherine Rampell suggests:

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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