The Worst is Over? (April 6, 2010)

unemployment

After more than 24 straight months of horrific decline, it seems the U.S. private sector actually added 162,000 non-agriculture jobs in March. While that is a mere drop in the bucket in an effort to regain the more than 8 million lost since the recession began in December 2007, the politicos and talking heads have been quick to trumpet America’s “turning the corner.” I am happy about any gain versus loss, but something tells me the average Joe (or Joe the Plumber) isn’t popping the cork on his bottle of Three Buck Chuck just yet.

I am not qualified to state definitively that the job market is displaying signs of real improvement. However, I can report anecdotally that while sending resumes from May – October of 2009, a five month barrage of hundreds of submissions, I netted three interviews altogether. None of them resulted in a formal job offer. Compare this to February-April of 2010, a shorter time frame when I sent out far less applications, but was invited for four formal interviews, which resulted in three offers. I have tentatively accepted one of these positions. In my own experience, change does seem to be afoot. However, there are too many in my immediate circle of friends and family who remain un- or under-employed to warrant anything more than cautious optimism.

I have never been a genius when it comes to financials or the stock market. I get my education from regular reader and commentator Mr. A on that front, but the other “good news” is that the Dow Jones is hovering around 11,000 points for the first time in 18 months. That’s great for Wall Street I guess. But again, not sure that impacts the daily lives of those of us who live on Main Street.

If I sound ambivalent about all of this, that’s because I definitely am. What do you think? Have we seen the worst? Is it time to get excited about a true economic rebound?

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