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U.S. reports best job growth since 2006

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JEREMY HOBSON: The government said this morning the economy added 244,000 jobs last month. That was much higher than expected. The unemployment rate has risen to 9 percent — which is a result of a lot people returning to the job hunt.

Let’s get reaction now from Chris Low Chief Economist with FTN Financial. He’s with us live from New York as he is every Friday. Good morning Chris.

CHRIS LOW: Good morning.

HOBSON: What does this report tell you?

LOW: Hey, you know — for the first time in weeks, I don’t have to have my doom and gloom voice today. We really have — it’s a terrific jobs report. Two-hundred-and-forty-four-thousand new jobs this month. More important than that I think is we had some big upward revisions to February and March too. So it’s not just the best month since the first quarter of 2006. It’s the best three-month stretch since the first quarter of ’06.

HOBSON: And it’s a bit of a surprise because we’d been getting some indications this week that the job market is not in such great shape and in fact things like oil and gold — the prices of those — were dropping as a result of that.

LOW: Yeah, there’s been a real tug-of-war this year between fear of inflation on one hand which is driving commodities, and then fear that that inflation itself might cause weakness which would hurt the economy. The one commodity price of course that matter the most to consumers and therefore the economy is gasoline.That finally broke and we got some relief this week, but what we saw in the jobs numbers is resilience in the economy despite the rise in prices which I think is just terrific news.

HOBSON: Chris Low, Chief Economist with FTN Financial, thanks so much and have a great weekend.

LOW: You’re welcome. You too.

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