SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) --The Dow Jones Industrial Average is giving many Americans another reason to celebrate this Fourth of July. The Dow reached a milestone Thursday, closing above 17,000 for the first time. The optimism that fueled that record close came from a government report showing the economy added 288,000 jobs in June.
At lunch time in San Jose, San Pedro Market Square is bustling with people looking for lunch. More workers, more customers, more jobs. Just over a year ago, downtown San Jose had about 75,000 businesses.
"We now have 84,000, so 9,000 businesses increase," San Jose State University professor Scott Myers said. "That also has led to 4,000 more jobs in particular in the food and leisure sector."
While people may think it's tech companies fueling job growth in Silicon Valley, that's not true. The latest numbers from May show government created the most jobs - 1,600 of them, followed by health care and construction.
Still, 1.4 million Californians remain jobless. But that's the lowest number since the recession began in 2008. But some people aren't convinced the economy has fully recovered.
"I think it's starting to recover, but I don't really know if it's exactly where it was in 2008," Hollister resident Melissa Preader said.
The element of surprise also looms on the horizon that could create a setback.
"Certainly there's the budget situation in Washington," Santa Clara university Professor Robert Hendershott said. "The Fed, if job growth continues the way it has been, will certainly start to increase rates, then it's really hard to know how the economy will respond to that. Then, of course, there's always a surprise, whether it's Europe or something in the Middle East."
Another issue some thought might hurt the recovery was raising San Jose's minimum wage last year. However, jobs grew even after the raise put $400 more in workers' paychecks each month.
Even with this encouraging news, there is always room for improvement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out there are still nearly 680,000 Americans who are discouraged and have given up looking for work.