Market News April 5, 2010

We are actually starting to create jobs!

The U.S. economy created a significant number of jobs in March.  The Labor Department indicated that the economy added 162,000 jobs in March which is the strongest growth rate in over three years.

Now, there are those that might suggest this increase is an overinflated figure due to temporary hiring of census takers but a deeper look at the figures suggests to me that this is not the case.  The government did hire 48,000 temporary workers for the Census, but this number was below that which economists, including myself, estimated. Private payrolls added 123,000 workers – the largest increase since May 2007.  This is in addition to the 8,000 new workers added to the workforce in February.

Here is my take on this.  The number – ex-census – is good, but the makeup of the report is not completely encouraging.  The number of long-term unemployed continues to go up which is a concern; however additional data shows consumer spending improving and the Household Survey (a separate measure of employment) also suggests that companies grew significantly in the first quarter. These are both positive signs.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I am starting to believe that it actually is the end of the tunnel, and not a train coming our direction!