It has not been a quiet few months in the world economy. And yet the recovery is grinding along, absorbing bad news with relative calm and uncertainty with relative ease. That’s perhaps the best potential news in this report, and in the market’s performance in recent months: The economy is less fragile than it once was, and job growth might persevere despite bad decisions and bad luck. We’d better hope so, because we can count on plenty of both over the next few months.
The average hourly wage of all employees remained $22.87, unchanged from February and up only 1.7 percent over the last year. The wage trends are a reason to be sober about future consumer spending and highly skeptical of claims that the economy is on the verge of an inflationary spiral.
I notice that Republicans are avoiding the traps of February and March, and not taking credit for the good numbers. Eric Cantor is aggressively generic: "Even with this good news, far too many people remain out of work and we need to continue our efforts in Washington to foster pro-growth policies that will help businesses small and large to innovate and expand."
[W]hile American employers have picked up hiring, they are disproportionately hiring workers who have spent less time looking for a job. That leaves more of the long-term unemployed in the jobless pool right now nearly half of those unemployed have been unemployed for at least six months with each of those individual workers racking up even more weeks. The net effect is to pull up the overall average length of unemployment.
Overall this was another small step in the right direction.