Jobless Rate Now Where It Was Right After Obama Took Office

The drop in the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent puts the rate exactly where it was in February of 2009, the month after President Barack Obama took office. And today's news is reverberating through the presidential campaign.

Mitt Romney says the economy "can do better," and that Obama's polices "have prevented a true economic recovery."

But Obama says the report shows that "the economy is growing stronger" and "the recovery is speeding up." He says it's no time to let a cut in the Social Security payroll tax expire -- which is what will happen if Congress doesn't take action by the end of the month. Obama says of the recovery, "We've got to do everything in our power to keep it going."

The news that companies added 243,000 jobs in January prompted a buying spree on Wall Street, where the Dow finished the day at its highest closing level since May of 2008. The Nasdaq is at its highest level in more than 11 years.

Strategist Dan Greenhaus of the brokerage BTIG told clients that the increasing number of job gains goes against what "virtually every economist on the planet had expected."

The unemployment rate has now fallen for five months in a row. It's the first time that has happened since 1994.


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  • by Steve Location: Ayden on Feb 5, 2012 at 07:35 PM
    Same unemployment rate but with 7 million fewer jobs. Lowest level of workforce participation since the 1970's. But we do have the highest levels of both welfare and food stamps ever recorded. Those people are no longer included in the unemployment numbers.
  • by TEA versus kool-aid on Feb 5, 2012 at 11:50 AM
    Give credit where credit is due. If it wasn't for the TEA Party backed reps in the house putting a stop to the dems excessive spending and the few (of many pasted in the house but held up by the dem leadership in the senate) jobs bills that worked making it past the senate. Just compare the U1 thru U6 numbers to who had control in congress, it may open some eyes as to who really controls the economy.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2012 at 05:27 AM
    Half of those so called 50,000 jobs in January are probably those people dresses as the statue of liberty standing in front of income tax preparer offices... all $ 7.50/hr jobs. Gas is still going up, $ 3.59/gallon now. It's looking like a war with Iran. There are still 24 Million Americans out of work. obama is a failure !
  • by Moma Location: NC on Feb 5, 2012 at 04:22 AM
    Obama doesn't care! He is out vacationing, spending money on parties, clothes and ignoring his job! BYE BYE OBAMA! WE ARE SICK OF YOU!!!!
    • reply
      by Paranoid on Feb 5, 2012 at 09:09 AM in reply to Moma
      Maybe you would like him more if he was trying to convince you to go to the moon.
  • by Obama 2012 on Feb 5, 2012 at 03:59 AM
    The trend is what is important right now. The deficit is shrinking since the all-time high of $1.4 trillion in Bush's final budget year (FY 2009). Unemployme­nt has been falling since the stimulus spending began at the end of 2009. And the more recent rate of jobs growth is at its strongest levels over the past two years. As more people become employed, federal tax revenues increase and the deficit is further reduced. As the deficit is reduced, financial markets will regain confidence in our economy, there will be more investment­, and when that happens jobs growth will accelerate until it hits the new equilibriu­m, whatever that may be. This is great news for the Obama campaign, especially if this trend keeps up going into the election. As long as the Tea Party doesn't do something stupid, like threatenin­g to default on our national debt, we might just recover from this recession in the next two or three years. And if we can do that while inflation stays at or below 3%, we are on our way to full recovery (and higher interest rates as they move back to normal). I predict that if unemployme­nt is below 8% this coming November, Obama and Democrats will win big.
    • reply
      by Moma on Feb 5, 2012 at 04:43 AM in reply to Obama 2012
      Your prediction will not come true. I still have hope for America that they will make the right choice and get rid of Obama who is doing NOTHING for this country.
      • reply
        by GOP mission from day 1, get Obama out, nothing else matters on Feb 5, 2012 at 09:01 AM in reply to Moma
        Please enlighten us....what has the Republicans/Teaparty done to create ONE JOB...just name it? Tea Party Group Urges Small Businesses ‘Not To Hire A Single Person’ To Hurt Obama http://www.care2.com/causes/tea-party-group-urges-small-businesses-not-to-hire-a-single-person-to-hurt-obama.html
        • reply
          by REM on Feb 5, 2012 at 07:50 PM in reply to GOP mission from day 1, get Obama out, nothing else matters
          You are really ignorant if you believe that link you posted. I've seen that one come up before, and it was totally false. In fact, discouraging job creation in the private sector is TOTAL OPPOSITE of what the Tea Party believes in. We believe that it's up to the private sector to create and regulate jobs and economic growth, not the government. Take those lies somewhere else, because you aren't fooling anyone.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2012 at 05:21 AM in reply to Obama 2012
      the only point correct in your post is that we just may recover from this recession in the next 3-4 years... especially being obama will be out of office come 2013. Republican spending cuts are the only hope we have.
  • by Don't Muck it up on Feb 5, 2012 at 03:25 AM
    New employment figures released show that U.S. manufacturing gained 50,000 jobs in January 2012, the biggest monthly gain in that sector since August 1998. The surge in job growth is a clear sign that American manufacturing can be competitive globally. President Obama is right to focus on an array of policies to boost domestic manufacturing jobs, and we need Congress to act. There is still a long way to go to get manufacturing jobs and output above pre-recession levels.
  • by Frank Sinatra Location: Heaven on Feb 4, 2012 at 08:47 PM
    Every month since his election job numbers have been released only to have corrected numbers issued 2-3 weeks later. Wait a couple of weeks and see what the corrected number is. Im thinking it will not be as good nor will it get quite the level of media coverage.
    • reply
      by JJ on Feb 5, 2012 at 03:12 AM in reply to Frank Sinatra
      If it included those jobs on the Moon, and all the jobs that Romney sent overseas, it would be around 1%.
  • by 40some on Feb 4, 2012 at 07:42 PM
    I guess unemployment ran out for the other 2%.
    • reply
      by Die hard Republican on Feb 5, 2012 at 04:09 AM in reply to 40some
      It's the trend that is important right now. Not only is jobs growth continuing­, but it is at the high-end of it's monthly jobs growth range and showing signs of strength.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2012 at 05:23 AM in reply to Die hard Republican
        this "trend" you keep mentioning.... is obama wanting to spend another 1.5 TRILLION this year. I'd more so believe businesses are hiring because they see an END TO OBAMA's reign.
  • by Ed Location: ENC on Feb 4, 2012 at 06:27 PM
    A higher percent of the population without a job and on government assistance, and the people are fed this kind of stuff,if it wasn't so serious it would be funny.
  • by Steve Location: Ayden on Feb 4, 2012 at 06:04 PM
    Funny how the dems are all exited about 8.3% unemployment. They also pretend like the economy that obama inherited came from Bush when the dems were in control of the House and Senate. Millions of homes forclosed on, highest welfare and food stamp levels in history, $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and a unpopular healthcare takeover. 5.5% unemployment under Bush and the Republicans and they think 8.3% is great. Enjoy your communist leaders last year.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 5, 2012 at 03:20 AM in reply to Steve
      Did that 5.5% under Bush include those millions that just stopped looking for work, and the seasonal workers?
    • reply
      by Wanda on Feb 5, 2012 at 04:13 AM in reply to Steve
      Bush lost 7 million in 2007 we are still making up for that. Not to mention those that feel below poverty level in that time that society needs to pull back up. You expect Obama to get us out of an illegal war, fix illegal fracking that has destroyed our water supply, fix all the inside trading. Work with obstructio­nist, protect women's rights from nutcases that want to make us all knocked up and force us to have babies and still fix the economy. Gee when would you like him to sleep.
      • reply
        by Steve on Feb 5, 2012 at 07:32 PM in reply to Wanda
        How soon people try and forget or choose to ignore that Pelosi was in charge of the House (and the budget) and Reid was in charge of the Senate in January 2007. Both dems!!! The budget starts in the House. Always. The huge deficits and job losses started under dem controlled budgets.
      • reply
        by REM on Feb 5, 2012 at 07:54 PM in reply to Wanda
        "Not to mention those that feel below poverty level in that time that society needs to pull back up." -- WHOA WHOA WOAH, hold up a minute. You mean to tell me that "society" is responsible for individual success and hard work? That proves right off the bat that you believe in no-realistic socialism. The rest of your post is so moronic that is bares repeating. For the love of God, less than .000001% of this nation knows anything about real world politics. Most just pick a side, and repeat idiotic talking points.
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