The healthier-than-expected numbers prompted some experts to revise their estimates of U.S. economic growth for the January-March quarter. And the Conference Board's measure of the U.S. economy's health over the next six months, reported on Thursday, increased in February from January.
But that says little about the current financial reality for Americans like Tamke, the central New Jersey resident. He says he was out of work for over eight months before he found his current position.
"I know I'm not pumping anything into the economy," he says. "I am barely able to pay my bills."