The Labor Department came out with a new set of statistics today showing mixed results of measures taken to stimulate the US Economy. On the gloomier side, as cited in the New York Times, payroll increased by 36,000 jobs in the past month, however these numbers fall well below the projections economists had made for this point in time. This indicates the enduring reluctance of companies to hire new employees in this economic climate.
Taking a broader look at the unemployment rate, the New York Times finds this measure of economic health is correlated to education level. The statistics show that those with less than a high school diploma are most affected by the recession in terms of unemployment with a 14.2 percent unemployment rate across this demographic, whereas those with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree only have a 4.2 percent unemployment rate in this demographic.
Despite this, economists largely blame the January snowstorms for the poor performance in the area of job growth. According to the Nashville Business Journal, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics, stated that the household survey showed that 707,000 people were unable to work because of the weather during this month, which is double that of a normal month. Encouraging signs from the economy indicated in the Labor Department statistics showed unemployment dropping from 9.4 percent to 9 percent, which is the lowest rate since April 2009. According to Keith Hall, who was also cited in the Nashville Business Journal, told a congressional panel last month that non-farm employment has increased by 1 million jobs since February 2010.
Other positive indicators such as the Dow’s impressive reaction to the productivity increase in the manufacturing sectors have outpaced predictions. The New York Times additionally states, “…on average, fewer people are filing for unemployment insurance.” These positive indicators demonstrate growing consumer confidence in economic recovery.
Despite the mixed indicators of the status of the prospects for long-term economic recovery, the reaction in the short-term, according to findings on MarketWatch, stocks are taking a slight hit as a result of these Labor Department statistics. According to this article, the Dow has dropped by 6 points since it passed the sticking point of 12,000 last Tuesday.
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