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Full-time jobs are back on top

The U.S. economy reached its latest milestone in August, with the number of full-time jobs soaring to a new record.

The level climbed to 122 million, exceeding the prior peak reached in November 2007, a month before the recession started. A full-time worker is defined by the Labor Department as one who works 35 hours or more a week.

Meanwhile, part-time employment fell to the lowest level since February 2011.

 It’s undoubtedly good news that employers are finally feeling confident enough in the expansion to commit to adding full-time positions. Still, Friday’s milestone is also a reminder that it’s taken more than six years to get to this point.

“We’ve definitely made a lot of progress,” said Omair Sharif, a rate sales strategist at SG Americas Securities LLC in New York. That doesn’t mean the job market is fully back to its pre-recession health.

Consider the number of full-time jobs as a share of total employment, which stood at 81.9 percent in August. That compares with an average of 83 percent before the recession.

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