Saturday, June 06, 2009

These Two Things Can Be True At Once, Yet...

Reader d sent this in:

Economists described the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, released Friday, as an unambiguous sign of improvement, yet also clear evidence of broadening national distress, as millions of households grapple with joblessness and lost working hours.

I'm not so sanguine, but even if we stipulate that things getting worse not quite as fast is "unambiguous sign of improvement" the fact remains that that national distress is still broadening and will almost certainly do so for some time. Unemployment is higher than projections used for the adverse case of the stress tests, and is going to continue to rise, most likely for the next several months if not the rest of the year. States and local governments are cutting spending, hours, and jobs, and another big wave of foreclosures is going to hit the residential market even as commercial real estate is imploding.

So, no, one month of "only" 350K lost jobs is not enough to make me optimistic that everything is going to turn around, even slowly.