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Revised Job Figures Paint Improved Picture of US Economy


A new government report shows the U.S. economy is not doing as badly as some had initially assumed. The Labor Department report shows the economy added 110,000 new jobs in September. It also revises payroll figures from August that initially showed a net loss of 4,000 jobs. President Bush says the latest numbers shows the U.S. economy is strong. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.

The picture for the U.S. economy appears to be improving. President Bush said he was pleased with the Labor Department's newly adjusted job figures. In addition to the September jump, the U.S. economy added a total of 118,000 new jobs in July and August.

"With these revisions, it means that we've had 49 consecutive months of job creation,” said Mr. Bush. “And that's the longest uninterrupted job growth on record for our country."

Stocks gained on Wall Street immediately after the release of the report.

But hedge fund manager Patrick D'Angelo says although there are some bright spots, the U.S. economy is not out of the woods yet. "I really think what's helping the market right now is the weak dollar. People now going forward understand that the housing crisis that we're going through the subprime debacle, is going to continue and as a result, there's a very good chance the Fed is going to cut rates again."

The initial August jobs report was seen as one of the reasons for the central bank's decision last month to lower the interest rate by 50 basis points. The latest report eases concerns that the economy is declining and makes the Federal Reserve less likely to cut interest rates.

Although a lower exchange rate for the U.S. dollar has made some imported goods more expensive, analysts say it has also contributed to job growth by giving small and large U.S. companies a competitive edge against foreign competitors.

Robert Hormats is vice chairman at Goldman Sachs. "At the current moment a weaker dollar is helpful to the American industry and will help to avoid a recession."

Friday's report also showed average hourly wages went up more than four percent from the year before.

President Bush urged Congress to keep taxes low to allow the economy to continue to grow.