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Strangest Part of the Jobs Report

     The unemployment rate has declined more in the last two months than in any two months since 1958.

    The rate was 9.8 percent in November, and it was 9 percent in January. Since the Labor Department began keeping these statistics, only four other two-month periods have seen a larger decline.

    They are: December 1949 (when the rate had dropped 1.3 percentage points in the previous two months, to 6.6. percent); August 1950 (0.9 percentage point decline, to 4.5 percent); February 1951 (0.9 percentage point decline, to 3.4 percent); and November 1958 (0.9 percentage point decline, to 6.2 percent).

    As I said before, the job market is neither healthy nor seems to be improving very rapidly. But the unemployment rate is dropping at a historically rapid rate. It’s very odd.

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Strangest Part of the Jobs Report

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