In further signs that the US Economy continues a slow but steady recovery into 2012, the Federal Unemployment Rate fell to 8.5% at the close of 2011, marking the lowest level in nearly 3 years. In addition, the economy added 1.6 million jobs in 2011, which is up from 940,000 in 2010.
The hiring gains cap a six-month stretch in which the economy generated 100,000 jobs or more in each month. That hasn’t happened since April 2006.
“There is no question that today’s employment report is a positive and there is also no question that the pace of job growth has accelerated of late,” said Dan Greenhaus, an analyst at BTIG LLC, a brokerage firm
A better job market is a positive sign for President Barack Obama, who is bound to face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any sitting president since World War II. Unemployment was 7.8 percent when Obama took office in January 2009.