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Is the Labor Market Working Toward a Comeback?
by Todd Bailey Wed, 04/11/2012 - 10:31
There have been visible signs of an economic recovery, at least in the Twitter streams. Last week, I spotted several companies sending messages of incipient 'talent' searches, new-hire opportunities. Is the online marketing community representative of the larger labor market? A Wall Street Journal article gives some numbers to convince you one way or the other.
On the surface, it seems the labor market added 120,000 jobs in the month of March. The addition of over one-hundred thousand jobs appears positive; but, it is only half the number of the previous month. Before March's numbers, America was experiencing a three-month, plus-200,000 job growth rally, the economy's best since 2006.
What about America's jobless rate? That number is derived by addressing another set of statistics. The jobless rate slightly rose from 8.2 to 8.3%, the lowest in three years. How about wage growth? That number seems to stay firm and rise, up 2.1% from a year prior.
In a recent address, President Obama focused on private-sector jobs, admitting 4-million jobs have been created in the sector, and 600,000 in the last three months. "We welcome today's news that our businesses created another 121,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked down," he says. "But it's clear to every American that there will still be ups and downs along the way and that we've got a lot more work to do."
Mitt Romney, Obama's likely opponent in the coming election, has vociferated Obama's attempts to resurrect the economy in the press, saying, "The president's excuses [to revamp the economy] have run out"; and, the "Obama economy is not working."
While private-sector jobs increased, hiring has waned in other verticals; retail-store employment dropped by 34,000 despite peaks in consumer spending. Temporary jobs, which rose by almost 55,000 in February, dropped by 7,500 in March.
If you're reading this and a bit perplexed at the rollercoaster of numbers and emotions, you're not alone. Economists are flabbergasted at contradictory accounts of numbers and economic impacts. Some problems may emanate from how the reports are comprised and relayed. For instance, some contractors are not considered "employed," according to some surveys. On the other end of the spectrum, those unemployed, yet not accepting unemployment checks, are not considered "unemployed."
In conclusion, it's tough to get an accurate assessment of the nation's recovery. It may make more sense to test the climate in respective industries. For instance, our online marketing vertical seems to be warming up in regard to commerce and new job opportunities. Our vertical's spike makes sense as other verticals experience comebacks, such as the manufacturing (including automotive) industry (37,000 new jobs added). It's becoming a digital age; more verticals and representative companies will begin moving endeavors online; and, we'll be there hoping to have the opportunity to make them feel at home.
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