The jobs report today was generally pretty good, despite the tick up in the unemployment rate from 7.8% to 7.9%. That jump was due to more people re-entering the job market. You remember that many unemployed are not counted as unemployed when they are not actively looking for jobs so when they start looking there are more people unemployed according the the report’s weird methodology. So more people unemployed according to the report is actually a good thing because people have enough hope to start looking for a job again.
Jobs were added in about every category except government so that is good news. Business was adding jobs and government was shedding them. That’s what we need. The job creation rate is pretty anemic but at least it’s positive.
Yesterday, we also had some mixed economic news. Consumer confidence was up while manufacturing utilization was down.
How the U.S. continues to grow while its export markets, notably Europe, are suffering and while the goverrnment on every level is laying people off is still a bit of a mystery to which the only answer can be that the U.S. consumer is spending more. We’ll take it!
I am looking now for signs that Asia has bottomed, particularly China and watching Europe to see if the continent as a whole is still going deeper into recession or flattening out in terms of economic shrinkage. When those two areas do start to turn, you should see a very nice rally worth investing in.