News about the job market seems to be on an ink-stained roller coaster the last couple of days.
First, we shared the news that small business hiring was up in April. Then, our sister Direct Capital Blog announced that, sure, hiring was up, but so were unemployment claims. This mirrors the kind of stories we’ve had about fields as diverse as equipment finance and lending, so it’s hardly a surprise that things are up and down when dealing with all sorts of facets about the U.S. economy.
Today, we’re happy to be climbing again. According to an eagerly-awaited report from the U.S. Department of Labor, some 244,000 new jobs were created in America in April, a higher-than-expected yield:
“The trend now is definitely up,” former Federal Reserve governor Larry Meyer told CNBC Friday. “The economy is regaining momentum and we are on the path for above-trend growth. This [number] is much stronger than expected.”
That’s a huge positive, right? Unfortunately, we’ve gotta head back down for a moment. As the brilliant Umair Haque noted on Twitter, a significant number of these jobs are either temporary or relatively low-paying, with McDonald’s being a driving force behind the increase with about 50,000 jobs added last month. There’s also the little matter that unemployment rose from 8.8 percent to 9 percent, and any increase in that number is less than ideal.
Of course, if this kind of growth continues, the unemployment numbers should drop and the overall job market can only improve for those looking for work. It’s little wonder, given the mishmash of news, that cautious optimism is the prevailing mood among businesses and analysts alike.
What’s your take on the news?
Photo credit to FOTOCROMO at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1065245