retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The US Department of Labor reported at the end of last week that the US economy aded 162,000 jobs in March, the most in three years, though roughly a third of those jobs were part-time gigs with the government as Census takers. The unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent.

The New York Times quoted Bart van Ark, chief economist at the Conference Board, as saying that “Having lost 8.2 million jobs over a period of two years, it's a drop in the bucket. It's too early to say we have a sustainable recovery ... We can be a little bit more optimistic.”

President Obama seemed sanguine about the numbers. "We are beginning to turn the corner," he said. "This month more Americans woke up, got dressed and headed to work in an office or factory or storefront. More folks are feeling the sense of pride and satisfaction that comes with a hard-earned and well-deserved paycheck at the end of a long week of work."
KC's View:
Politicians are going to be either positive or negative about the numbers, depending on their persuasion. It does, however, seems fair to say that 1) things seem less dire than they were a couple of years ago, 2) “less dire” is small comfort to people who have lost their jobs, seen their houses decrease in value, or have gone through their savings trying to feed and house their families, and 3) it is going to take a long time to create a sustainable recovery from a situation that took decades to create.