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AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A burst of hiring in December pushed the unemployment rate to its lowest level in nearly three years, giving the economy a boost at the end of 2011.

The Labor Department says employers added a net 200,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009. The rate has dropped for four straight months.

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.

For all of 2011, the economy added 1.6 million jobs, better than the 940,000 added in 2010. The unemployment rate averaged 8.9 percent last year, down from 9.6 percent the previous year.

Economists forecast that the job gains will top 2.1 million this year.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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3 Comments on "Unemployment falls to three-year low as economy adds 200K jobs"

2015 years 8 months ago

This is good news for all Americans, if it holds after the seasonal effect passes. But it should be realized that a gradual recovery from a recession is to be expected, and in fact may have occurred much sooner if the government had allowed it to occur naturally.

2015 years 8 months ago

Great News! I see the President has us headed in the right direction. Things are getting better and we’re coming out of the mess “W” got us into.

2015 years 8 months ago

if you read the entire report, the 8.5% national unemployment rate is an increase despite the job creation. Lest we forget, most of the created jobs ended right after Christmas.


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