Friday, May 7, 2010

Good News

The employment numbers in the US were good. Here's a bit from a blog post by Paul Krugman:
An actually good employment report. A reminder: there are two separate surveys, one of employers — which is where the 290,000 jobs number comes from — and one of households, which is where the 9.9 percent unemployment rate comes from. Sampling error, seasonal adjustments, and other technical factors can make these reports give contradictory indications.

Actually, though, in this case they’re both positive. My favorite indicator from the household survey isn’t the unemployment rate, it’s the employment-population ratio — and that’s up, from 58.6 to 58.8. In fact, it has been rising since December. At this point it’s clear that the economy is adding jobs, and doing so faster than population growth.
In Canada we had stunning jobs creation as reported by the Globe and Mail:
The Canadian economy created a whopping 108,700 jobs last month – more than four times as many as expected – the largest monthly gain on record as the services sector added to payrolls.

The jobless rate fell to 8.1 per cent in April from 8.2 per cent a month earlier, Statistics Canada said Friday. Economists had expected just 25,000 jobs in the month with the rate holding steady.


Canadian employment has now tallied four straight months of gains and recouped 68 per cent of the total jobs lost during the recession, he added.

April’s surge brings total gains since the start of the employment recovery in July to 285,000 people. The six-month trend, which smoothes out monthly volatility, shows employers are adding 39,000 jobs a month, according to Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Being one-tenth the size of the US, the April numbers for Canada would be equivalent to the US creating 1,087,000 jobs instead of the more modest 290,000.

All the signs are for the economy (Canada & US) to make a solid recovery. So it was odd to see the stock markets slip again today. For the week, the US stock market is down 7% and the Canadian down 5%. So the investor community is full of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

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