Jobless recovery. O…
Jobless recovery. Or not.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in January to the lowest level in more than two years as companies added just 112,000 new jobs – fewer than expected but enough to keep alive hope for a turnaround in the struggling job market.

That’s good news, and so is this:

The jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage point last month to the lowest level since October 2001, when it was 5.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. January’s rate matched the 5.6 percent posted in January 2002.

And so is this:

Employers added new jobs last month at a pace not seen in three years. The last time payrolls expanded more than 112,000 was in December 2000, when companies added 124,000 positions.

All this great news, and yet:

But economists were disappointed, saying they had expected a larger increase of 150,000 new jobs or more.

They must’ve lost a bet or something. The economy is trundling right along and they’re disappointed. And it’s not even as bad as they think it is:

Some economists think hiring really is occurring in the economy, but it is not being reflected in the Labor Department’s monthly survey of business payrolls. In the separate survey of households, employment jumped by 496,000 last month.

The household survey counts self-employed workers and contract workers, which are increasing. The survey of businesses does not.

“They’re not recording the outside contractors – they’re not reflecting something that is tremendously fundamental now to the American corporate scene, and that’s outsourcing to outside contractors,” Mayland said.

You’d think this would be fantastic news for Democrats who are (allegedly) for the small businessman and against big corporations. Let’s listen to them celebrate, shall we?

(Hold not thy breath.)

But listen to who is celebrating:

The US economy strengthened considerably in December, leading the global economic recovery and leaving Europe and Japan behind, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said today.

You’re welcome, folks. Even the Canadians.

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