Despite the spread of the coronavirus, the economy stayed strong, adding hundreds of thousands of new jobs over the past three months, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.
Just last month the economy added 273,000 new jobs, with an unemployment rate of and 3.5%, the lowest in more than 50 years.
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In December and January, 184,000 and 273,000 new jobs were created, respectively, with the numbers in January and February being the highest since May 2018, according to CNBC.
Various sectors of the economy added thousands of new jobs. The health care and social assistance industry added 57,000 jobs; food and drinking businesses each added 53,000; government employment is up by 45,000 jobs; 42,000 jobs were created in construction; 26,000 in finance.
An annual Gallup “Mood of the Nation” economic poll released in early February showed that over half of the respondents believe they are “better off” financially now than they were a year ago.
“Nearly six in 10 Americans (59%) now say they are better off financially than they were a year ago, up from 50% last year,” the poll found.
The poll also found that the number of those who feel they are “worse off” is down to 20%, the lowest ever.
“The current 59% of Americans who say they are better off financially than they were a year ago is essentially tied for the all-time high of 58% in January 1999. That was recorded during the dot-com boom, with conditions similar to the current state of the economy — a stock market rocketing to then-record highs and unemployment at multi-decade lows — though GDP growth was higher at that time,” the poll found.
The Labor Department’s report comes after a week of decline in the stock market, followed by a major rebound this week, although its still taken a hit, based largely on coronavirus fears.
A separate Gallup poll recently showed that 63% of Americans approved of Trump’s handling of the economy, with Gallup describing it as the “highest economic approval rating not only for Trump but for any president since George W. Bush” following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
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