Feb 1 - A couple of big revisions to jobs data show a solid upward trend - motivating more of the out of work to start looking for jobs again. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The job market is a lot healthier than many had believed. Newly revised data show the 3-month new job average at 200,000, getting closer to the 250,000 benchmark that economists believe is key to making serious headway on the unemployment rate. The economy added 157,000 jobs last month as expected. And the unemployment rate inched higher to 7.9 percent. But even that was seen as a good sign. S&P's Beth Ann Bovino explains: SOUNDBITE: BETH ANN BOVINO, DEPUTY CHIEF ECONOMIST, STANDARD & POOR'S (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You have some piece of good news in there. You saw people gaining jobs but even more people coming back to the workforce. Those people are coming back looking for work, optimistic that they will find one. Of course they are counted as unemployed but still a positive move." Hourly wages went up- a good sign that consumers will take home more money- and have more to spend. Government jobs continue to fall- all the gains were private sector jobs. The sectors that are growing - like construction- could have a snowball effect. PIMCO'S Tony Crescenzi: SOUNDBITE: TONY CRESCENZI, MARKET STRATEGIST, PIMCO (ENGLISH) SAYING: "A good gain in construction-related jobs was seen in the report and there could be more to come during the spring months when things begin to thaw out because the housing market does seem to be a bit better so that's one of the keys to 2013. Will the housing market cause some increase in job growth. In fact for every home built there is roughly three jobs created." The U.S. government says it's committed driving more job growth: White House Economic Advisor Alan Krueger: SOUNDBITE: ALAN KRUEGER, CHAIRMAN, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The President has steadfastedly supported greater investment in our infrastructure to rebuild our roads and highways and airports and ports. That will strengthen the economy in the future; put more construction workers back to work today. You know, we are still shaking off the effects of the Great Recession. We've done a lot of healing but we are not back to full health." The news was a relief. News out earlier in the week showed a contraction in GDP.