retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports that the nation’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.2 percent in October to 10 percent in November, an unexpected improvement that represented the “best report since the recession began two years ago.”

According to the Times story, “Many forecasters suggest that the turning point — from jobs being cut to jobs being added — will come by March, assuming the economy continues to grow, as it finally started to do in the third quarter. If they are right, the beginning of a work force recovery would come more quickly than after the last two recessions, in the early 1990s and 2001, despite the much greater severity of this downturn.”

The Times also writes that “although 15.4 million people are struggling to find work, the November report revealed signs of improvement across the country. More than 50,000 temporary workers were hired, the first surge in months and often a precursor to companies hiring permanent workers. Employees worked more hours, even in manufacturing.

“And, reflecting the increased hours, the average weekly wage for most of the nation’s workers rose by nearly two-thirds of a percentage point in a single month, to $622.”
KC's View:
Nice to get some economic good news, even if there seems to be a lot of sentiment out there that a reversal and/or correction almost certainly is in the cards for January and February. I cannot help but get the feeling that when all the forecasters talk about good economic news, they all have their fingers crossed.