Friday, May 7, 2010

Employment Gains Signal Upward Potential, Says The Conference Board

/PRNewswire/ -- The 224 thousand gain in jobs (excluding the 66,000 additional workers on the census) in April is very welcome news. It clearly shows that this economic recovery can no longer be seen as a jobless one. Following three quarters of growing production, companies apparently find they can't squeeze out any more output without adding workers. This underscores yesterday's news that Q1 productivity growth slowed to a healthy 3.6 percent following the staggering rate of above 7 percent on average in the previous three quarters.

These job gains are comparable to what we've seen following other deep recessions, suggesting that U.S. business has become more confident that the recovery is sustainable. Manufacturing jobs are returning to a significant extent, and construction employment turned the corner in the previous two months. The key factor this spring will be continued gains in service-sector employment beyond health and education.

Continued employment gains of this size could put the economy on a solid 3 percent growth track and -- if productivity growth stays up - even boost it to 3.5 or 4 percent.

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