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Congressional Budget Office

Many see cause for optimism despite slower US job growth

Consider looking past January's so-so job growth.

At first glance, Friday's government report on U.S. hiring was a downer — 151,000 added jobs, well below the pace of the previous few months.

Yet once you take a fuller view, a brighter picture of the job market emerges: A sub-5 percent unemployment rate. Healthy pay raises. And a stream of people who grew confident enough in the job market to start looking for work.

"The January report is a solid report in disguise," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and president of the conservative American Action Forum.

That seems especially true given that the job...

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