Sports and my thoughts

Friday, April 07, 2006

Thoughts: Our crappy economy

Unemployment down to 4.7%.

Employers, in a springtime hiring burst, boosted payrolls by a sizable 211,000 in March and pushed the nation's unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent.

The latest snapshot, released by the Labor Department on Friday, suggested that an accelerating economic expansion is putting companies in the hiring mood, brightening prospects for job seekers.

Hiring gains were fairly widespread. Construction, financial activities, education and health care and government were among the sectors posting payroll gains. That help to blunt job losses in manufacturing and in the transportation industries.

The unemployment rate, which dropped from February's 4.8 percent, ended up matching January's jobless rate, which was the lowest in 4 1/2 years.

Consumer confidence grows.

Consumer confidence in the economy's prospects improved in early April even as gasoline prices and borrowing costs marched higher.

The RBC CASH (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) Index, based on results from the international polling firm Ipsos, showed confidence at 89.4 in early April, up from March's 86.2. The new reading also was better than a year ago, when consumer confidence clocked in at 84.5.

"It's a positive sign," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

Overall, consumers are in a generally good frame of mind, economists said.

Oh wait, these are good things. Why are the liberals still saying we are in a recession?

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