As a further sign that the mutual fund industry and broader asset management business and economy are gaining strength, the financial industry netted 4,000 new jobs in December. This was the first time since July 2007 that there has been job creation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs in finance now total 7,691,000, up from 7,691,000. In the summer of 2007, there were 8.3 million jobs in finance, according to Bloomberg data.

When real estate-related financial jobs are removed from the picture, the gains are even better: finance and insurance firms added 9,900 jobs last month.

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