Tuesday, May 10, 2011

America's labour market perking up

AMERICA'S recovery has not been an easy one for workers. For months, the economy expanded without doing much at all to create jobs and bring down unemployment. And recently, the economy has shown signs of faltering yet again, raising the possibility that in 2011 recovery would once more fail to bring meaningful gains to workers.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics has given American workers a big reason to hope, however. This morning, the BLS released payroll employment numbers that show a labour market growing progressively stronger. American firms added 244,000 jobs in April, and the private sector added 268,000. Payroll figures for February and March were both revised upward. Over the past three months private-sector employment has risen by an average of over 250,000 jobs per month.

Since the employment bottom in February of 2010, the economy has added 1.8m jobs and the private sector has added 2.1m. Most of those jobs were created in the past year, and about a third of them in the last three months. This is not yet the hiring pace one would hope to see after so deep a recession—there are still 13.7m unemployed workers and nonfarm employment remains nearly 7m jobs below the pre-recession peak. But this is better than anything the American economy has seen in years. The last time the private sector added this many jobs in a month was February of 2006—more than five years ago.

Read the full story: http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/05/americas_labour_market

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