The PJ Tatler

Unemployment drops to 8.9 percent

Some good news on the job front.

The unemployment rate dropped in February to 8.9% as the U.S. economy created 192,000 net new jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday, a sharp increase that could signal the recovery is starting to produce the large-scale hiring needed to repair the damage from the deep recession.

That’s the silver lining; the dark cloud is that as states are awash in red ink, layoffs are likely to roll throughout the spring and summer. And spiking gas prices threaten the fragile recovery as well.

Gas prices continued to rise nationwide Friday, with the average price per gallon up nearly 28 cents in the past 10 days.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose to $3.471 on Friday, according to a daily survey by motorist group AAA. That’s up 4.4 cents from $3.427 a gallon on Thursday and $3.368 on Monday.