NewsFlash: May 2, 2008
Is this a reprieve or a delay?
The announcement that jobs fell less in April than economists had expected (a 20,000 drop where 80,000 had been forecast) has prompted some speculation that perhaps we will dodge the recession bullet after all.
Today’s Jobs Picture from the Economic Policy Institute looks deeper into today’s report to the underlying labor market trends and structure. What senior economist Jared Bernstein finds leaves little room for serious doubt: he describes indicators in today’s report that “show continuing and deepening problems in the job market.”
Among those problems are shrinking hours of work (and therefore wages) for many workers, lengthening unemployment spells for those already out of work, wages not keeping up with inflation, and more people working only part-time who want full-time work.
Compounding those problems is overall economic growth (GDP) that, at 0.6% for the past six months, is far lower than what’s needed to kick-start the jobs engine and is unlikely to reach those levels this year. Therefore we can expect steadily rising unemployment.
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