[At] long last, the American economy is growing again. Jobs, however, are still tricky to come by. Initial jobless claims declined by 1,000 from the previous week, but remain 10,000 about their level on October 10. Continuing claims fell to their lowest level since March, but this primarily reflects the exhaustion of benefits; workers receiving extended benefits are not counted in the total. So while the end to contraction has stopped the labour market bleeding, recovery has yet to begin the healing. Growth is good, but absent job creation it is difficult to get too excited.
Jon Hilsenrath of the WSJ is worried
that the rebound is unsustainable. But please try and get some perspective. Only six months ago, we were afraid the entire global economy would be in a continued death spiral by now. It isn't. One reason is that the Bush and Obama administrations pushed through emergency - and expensive - programs to prevent a second Great Depression. They may not be enough; and the deleveraging of the Bush debt (public and private) may take a while. But this is a real and tangible gain, given the very real likelihood of total meltdown only a few months ago. It is not cheer-leading to note that. Much much more is needed to tell if this recovery is self-sustaining. But a 3.5 percent gain is better than a 6.4 loss. In fact
The two-quarter swing in the rate of growth of 9.9 percentage points was the largest since 1980.