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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The nation’s economy created 192,000 jobs last month. And the unemployment rate dropped slightly — to 8.9 percent. Maybe — just maybe — it’s a sign the labor market is showing a little oomph.
Let’s try and make sense of the latest employment report with Jill Schlesinger, editor at large at CBS/MoneyWatch. She’s with us livefrom New York, as she is every Friday morning. Good morning Jill.
JILL SCHLESINGER: Good morning.
CHIOTAKIS: I see these numbers and I’m thinking, “YES! Great jobs report.” But what do you think?
SCHLESINGER: Well I think, yes but a little less enthusiasm. The reason is that the January report was quite weak. Now it was revised higher, so we added 630,000 jobs in January. Added to this 192,00 that gives us an average of about 127,500 for the first two months of the year. That’s only slightly higher than what we need to keep pace with new job entrance into the work force
CHIOTAKIS: Now, looking a deeper into the report Jill, I see a loss of 30,000 government jobs — what’s happening there?
SCHLESINGER: Well, you know as these states and municipalities are under pressure, they are cutting their workforces, so this is a disturbing trend, but on the other hand the good new is that we saw over 200,000 private sector jobs added, so maybe this is a little bit of good timing that the private sector can pick up, just as the government sector is scaling back a bit.
CHIOTAKIS: Are we going to see that continue, do you think? That little equation and also just these overall good jobs reports?
SCHLESINGER: Yes, I think that the two trends should continue, but I still want to remember — we have 13.7 million unemployed persons in this country, another 8.3 million who are working part time who want full time help. And 6 million people who’ve been out of work for more than 6 months. We have a long way to go.
CHIOTAKIS: All right. Jill Schlesinger at CBS/MoneyWatch. Jill, thanks.
SCHLESINGER: Great to be with you.
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