The New York Times reports today that the recovery is making itself felt in job gains, for the first time in many moons. The job gains are in the private sector, and economists are looking at this as the first month of a trend in gains. In fact, the paper reports that the unemployment rate may appear to rise soon. This reflects the paradoxical situation in which people who had been forgotten by the job market, so don’t figure into the unemployment statistics, enter it again when times look better.
On the public side, it’s not just wacky Wisconsin laying off government employees. The dwindling of federal stimulus funds and the decrease in tax revenues, coming from income taxes and lowered property rates, are putting states in a deficit situation. They can’t mint money, though, so they need to balance budgets or float bonds.
Overall any good news is good. There are still clouds in these silver linings, though. The average period of unemployment is almost 38 weeks, and the proportion of women in the workplace is its lowest in more than twenty years. There is still a lot of recovering to be done to get to where we were a few years ago.