Here’s the latest on Industry News: February 2012

Private employers hired the most workers since last April and the nation’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in nearly three years, according to the Labor Department.

Whirlpool’s fourth-quarter net earnings increased to $205 million, compared with net earnings of $171 million during the same period last year. Their North America region reported operating profit of $202 million for the quarter, compared with $53 million in the previous year. And for the full-year 2011, sales reached $18.7 billion, up 2% from the prior year.  Have you been watching the stock? Shares are up a full 20 points since mid-January!

In more general channel news — according to the U.S. Commerce Department — construction spending across all sectors reached an estimated $816.4 billion in December 2011, a 1.5% increase above the revised November estimate and 4.3% above the December 2010 results of $782.9 billion. Spending on residential construction was reported at $241.2 billion in December, 0.8% above the November 2011 estimate of $239.4 billion.