Unemployment Numbers Good News Could Help Obama

Good News in Jobs Report: Good News for Obama?

Good News in Jobs Report: Good News for Obama?

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Feb. 3 2012 2:35 PM

Good News in Jobs Report: Good News for Obama?

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(U.S. President Barack Obama (L) thanks Lt. Jacob Johnson, an Arlington County firefighter and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq for introducing him, prior to making remarks on the economy at Fire Station #5 February 3, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia.)

Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

New monthly unemployment numbers have offered what economists seem to think is good news across the board. It may be good news for President Obama, too.

The U.S. economy beat expectations by a significant number in January, adding 243,000 jobs and reducing the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent, according to the latest jobs report. The private sector was the driving force behind new job gains, while federal and local government agencies forced to cut dragged down employment numbers.

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The last time job figures were this good was Obama’s first full month in office—February 2009. Markets shot up in reaction to the positive news—and the president’s own stock is improving as well. Over the last three months, polling shows Obama’s approval rating is on a modest rebound after they bottomed out near 40 percent last summer.

The president’s likely crossing his fingers for more good employment news in the coming months just like the rest of us—his own job probably depends on it.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.