The U.S. Department of Labor's January 2011 jobs report wasn't especially exciting. On top of the questionable reduction in unemployment, the U.S. only added 36,000 jobs that month.
This is a positive sign, though -- another case of small gains being a lot better than huge losses. For example, the U.S. economy lost 39,000 jobs in January 2010, and suffered losses in June, July, August and September 2010. Plus, some economists think a wave of serious winter weather hampered job growth in January 2011 [source: Censky]. The February jobs report proved them right, showing a sharp rebound as the unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent and the economy added 192,000 jobs [source: Klein].