The economy still has about 5.5 million fewer jobs than it did before the recession began in December 2007.
Still, the falling unemployment rate appears to be raising the public's view of Obama's economic stewardship. In an Associated Press-GfK poll last month, 48 percent said they approved of how Obama was handling the economy, up 9 points from December. And 30 percent of Americans described the economy as "good" — a 15-point jump from December and the highest level since the AP-GfK poll first asked the question in 2009.
The U.S. economy remains under threat from Europe's debt crisis. But those concerns have eased, the AP survey showed.
Several economists credited the European Central Bank's move to provide unlimited low-interest loans to banks with helping prevent an international crisis
"Time fixes all wounds," said Marty Regalia, chief economist at the U.S Chamber of Commerce. "Europe didn't come apart at the seams, and we haven't fallen into the abyss. Every day ... it becomes a little less likely that it will happen."
AP Economics Writer Derek Kravitz contributed to this report.
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