Economy Likely Started 2012 with Solid Job Growth

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A survey of economists finds they're predicting improvement in the January jobs picture but not enough to bring the unemployment rate down.

A survey by Factset finds economists saying that employers added a net 155,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate remained 8.5 percent for a second straight month.

The unemployment rate has fallen for four straight months to its lowest level in nearly three years.

A gain of 155,000 jobs would be down slightly from 200,000 in December. Still, it would mark the seventh straight month in which at least 100,000 jobs have been added. That hasn't happened since 2005.

An annual revision to earlier jobs figures is expected to show that hiring was stronger over the past two years than previously thought.

The nation has about 6 million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began in late 2007.

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