WASHINGTON - America's jobless rate fell to 4.7 percent in January, the lowest since mid-2001, reports the US Labor Department. The news was greeted as another harbinger of an improving economy.
The fall stems primarily from an increase of 193,000 workers on non-farm employers' payrolls.
Although the jobs boost is below many forecasters' expectations, it suggests the economy got off to a strong start this year, dispelling worries about the slowdown triggered by the hurricanes and oil-price spikes of last summer and autumn.
The news will add further pressure on the Federal Reserve Board to increase interest rates.