Unemployment Reaches Lowest Level Since the Fall (and Fall) of 2008

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Twitter economists lost their minds this morning as the monthly jobs report — released a day early due to the Fourth of July holiday — blew out expectationsThe U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs last month, well above the expected number of 215,000. In addition, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent, the lowest it's been since September 2008 — the month Lehman Brothers collapsed and the economy began its long downward tailspin.

What's more, the report appeared to come without the usual caveats associated with good numbers. The participation rate remained mostly flat (so no impact on the number of people looking for work), hourly wages are up, and revisions to previous months were up.

In short, things are looking better than they have in a long time on the jobs front. And it was a nice corrective to the brief panic over the negative GDP growth of the first quarter. There's no doubt now that things are picking up steam, and the American economy continues its long, slow climb back..

Here's some more of the instant analysis: 

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