Economy Adds 200K New Jobs, Unemployment Falls to 8.5 Percent

January 6, 2012

The economy added 200,000 jobs in December and the jobless rate fell to 8.5 percent, signaling a growing economy that could give a political boost to President Obama in his reelection year.

The 8.5 percent unemployment rate is the lowest the jobless rate has been in three years, and the positive jobs figures suggest the labor market is starting to expand more strongly after years of sluggish growth. 

The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics follows a positive report on Thursday from ADP, which found private companies added 325,000 jobs. Weekly jobless claims have also dropped in recent weeks. 

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