Economists Predict More U.S. Jobs Gains in February

Posted March 9th, 2012 at 7:05 am (UTC-5)
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Economists are eagerly awaiting Friday’s release of the U.S. government’s unemployment report for February .

They are predicting that the economy added about 210,000 jobs last month, keeping the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3 percent posted from January, when the economy created 243,000 jobs. It would mark the third straight month the economy has added more than 200,000 jobs.

A firm that measures payrolls said Thursday that private businesses added 216,000 jobs last month.

Recent reports have boosted optimism that the U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the global recession that began in 2008. The unemployment rate has dropped by 0.8 percent since last August, and weekly applications for unemployment benefits have fallen during that period.

But economists say a sustained rise in the number of people looking for jobs could push the the unemployment rate back up. Only people without jobs who are actively seeking work are counted as unemployed.