It's time for some GOOD NEWS!!!
A really good employment report today. The BLS reports that payroll employment rose by a whopping 290,000 in April. Employment gains were evident acros the economy:
Total Increase in Employment:.......290,000
Business, professional services:......80,000
Education and health services:........35,000
Of the major industry categories, only transportation and warehousing showed an employment decline (down 19,500).
Average weekly hours and weekely earnings were essentially flat, but that's good news, really. The added employment was not caused by spreading hours across more workers, or by workers being willing to accept lower wages.
In the household survey, employment growth was also strong--170,000 more people reported being employed. And, the labor force grew by 805,000, and is now essentially back to its April 2009 level. The growth in the labor force is good news--it suggests that people are becoming more optimistic about their ability to find work, are more willing to look for work. Because of the growth in the labor force, the unemployment rate did edge up (to 9.9%), but, in the context of strong employment and labor force growth, that's not too troublesome. Teenage unemployment rates actually fell.
If there's a fly in this ointment, it's that the number of people unemployed for 27 or more weeks continues to rise, as does the number of people reporting that they are working part-time but want full-time work.
If we get several months in a row of this sort of employment increase, though, that'll change. Cross your fingers.