07
May
10

green shoots

President Barack Obama speaks on monthly jobs numbers on the South Driveway at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 7, 2010. New figures showed the US economy created 290,000 jobs in April.

David Leonhardt, New York Times: “Pay no attention to the unemployment rate — that is, if you’re trying to make sense of today’s jobs report.

It is an excellent report. The economy added more jobs last month than it had in four years. Over the last two months, employers have been adding jobs at a rate faster than the population is growing. If that continues, the unemployment rate will soon start falling.

It rose last month because of a something of a statistical quirk. The Labor Department counts people as officially unemployed only if they are not working and looking for work. Between March and April, there was a surge in the number of out-of-work people who started looked for work. That — not job losses — is what swelled the ranks of the officially jobless and caused the unemployment rate to rise to 9.9 percent, from 9.7 percent.

The share of adults who were out of work for any reason — officially unemployed, retired, staying home with children, given up looking for work — fell last month, to 41.2 percent, from 41.4 percent.

There are no guarantees the job growth will continue, but today’s report is a very good one.”



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