The Labor Department released new figures today which signals the U.S. economy is picking up. The U.S. added 200,000 jobs in December, which marks the sixth consecutive month the country showed a net gain of 100,000 jobs. The new jobs also brought with it a lower unemployment rate, which fell to 8.5%.

According to economists, this is just the latest positive development for the economy. While the jobless rate has been declining over the past few months, consumer confidence and consumer spending has increased.

Another good piece of news is that the drop in the jobless rate is due to various sectors adding jobs, not people dropping out of the job search. The New York Times reports, “The new jobs were spread broadly across industries, with transportation and warehousing, retail, manufacturing and restaurants all adding jobs.”

While economists feel the drop in the unemployment rate and the addition of new jobs is more than just a blip, they caution that the economy is still growing very slowly and is still vulnerable.

Despite the decline in the overall unemployment rate, the jobless rate for African Americans rose to 15.8% (up from 15.5%).

Although the economy is slowly recovering and millions are still out of work, economist predict that the public and private sectors will add approximately 2.1 jobs this year, up from 1.2 million last year.

So, are finally over “The Great Recession”? Not quite, but if these numbers are any indication, we’re on the way.

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  • Priceless34

    Is anyone surprised. Hopefully our communities will learn to value education so that manufacturing jobs won’t be our only source of jobs.

    • It isn’t simply a matter of valuing education. I value it plenty. Paying for it is another matter. Pell Grants were cut for this year, funds that our community relies on

  • Lu

    Money makes the world go round and at 26 years old, almost all aspects of my life have come to a screeching halt because I have been unemployed since June 2011. It’s senseless but I can’t help but feel like an absolute failure, borderline worthless after a great college education and years of internship & work experience. I feel like I am suffocating and the chance to get back on my career path is the only thing that will help me breathe again. When will it end?

  • jellobiafra

    What a total and complete lie. In the past month 1.2 MILLION people dropped out of the work force, the highest number ever reported. In addition, on average 160,000 workers each month are foreign workers. They have work visas and will go to the head of the line for jobs. That means only a bout 85,000 new jobs were introduced, not enough to keep pace with the birth rate. We are in a deep recession, with the slowest recovery seen since FDR in the 1930’s. Wake up and smell the treason.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    Oh well I guess this means that everyone can get back on the consumption wagon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_ut93YYZu8