As was the case in December, I think the big drop in the unemployment rate is the right signal to draw from the report released today. The weather this January was so terrible, it is amazing that the report was as positive as it is. Snow could easily have lopped 100,000 jobs off of the top-line jobs number. That is why markets seem to be shrugging off the apparently bad news. That said, if we don’t see lot of new jobs in February, then it will be time to entertain the thought that something truly strange is going on.
— Kevin A. Hassett is director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.