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U.S. Job Market Continue Upward Swing, Fueling Confidence in Employment Recovery

The U.S. job market exceeded estimates by adding 290,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department reported Friday. The biggest upswing in four years indicates a strong upward trend in private sector hiring and a positive outlook for the recovery.

Experts say the job data shows that the recovery is making progress and should erase fears of a double dip recession - even if that progress is slow.

"The jobs report underscores this is a resilience of the recovery," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of Economic Cycle Research Institute. "When the business cycle is in an upswing, it starts to feed on itself, and the economy can withstand a pretty big shock without being tipped into a new downturn."

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Slower Productivity Growth May Force Businesses to Increase Hiring

U.S. productivity rose faster than expected in the first three months of the year, as employers continued to squeeze existing workers to boost output before hiring new ones, Labor Department figures showed today (Thursday). But the rate of growth slowed, which may force businesses to increase hiring in the coming months.

Separately, fewer Americans filed claims for unemployment benefits for the third consecutive week, in a sign the labor market is slowly recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s.

Productivity rose at a 3.6% annual rate in the first quarter, exceeding the 2.6% median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News but down sharply from 6.3% in the previous three months.

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A V-Shaped Recovery? Don't Bet On It

Corporate profits appear to have returned in full, manufacturing is picking up around the world, commodities prices have rallied and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index is up about 60% since last March.

That makes a pretty compelling case for what some analysts are calling a "V-shaped" recovery. But even with all the momentum the economic recovery has accrued, that kind of talk may be a bit premature.

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Latest Report Shows the Jobless Recovery Still Endures

Stocks have staged surprise rebounds after seemingly poor payroll reports half a dozen times in the past year. But the one time that there was better-than-expected job news, on Dec. 5, the market tanked. Go figure - it's a great example of how upside down the logic is on Wall Street.

To help us interpret the jobs report of last week, I turned to my favorite independent labor analysts, Philippa Dunne and Doug Henwood. Here's their view of the latest numbers, which they considered the most positive in months - despite the many problems highlighted by the latest jobs report.

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Latest Unemployment Numbers Prove There's No Easy Way Out of a "Jobless Recovery"

The unemployment numbers reported by the Labor Department Friday are proof that despite recent optimism about the job market, the economy is still trudging through a jobless recovery. And it doesn't look like the labor picture will improve anytime soon, either. 

Employers unexpectedly shed 85,000 jobs in December, displaying a lack of confidence in the economic recovery and leaving the "official" unemployment rate at 10%. 

However, the real rate of unemployment -- which includes part- time workers who want full-time jobs and people who want work but have simply stopped looking -- rose to 17.3% from 17.2%.

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Unemployment Monkey Loosens Grip On Economy's Back

Is the dark cloud of joblessness finally starting to dissipate? Key indicators suggest it is, and while this will be a slow-moving dissipation, top economists as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve now say the picture for the coming months looks a little less bleak. Unemployment, considered to be one of the darkest spots of […]

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U.S. Economy Will Grow Faster Than Expected, Jobs to Return to Growth Next Year, Economists Say

The U.S. economy will grow faster than expected next year, but job growth will begin later than previously thought, according to a survey of business economists.

A panel of 48 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) showed gross domestic product (GDP) in the United States will grow by 3.2%, but job losses won't bottom until the first quarter of next year. A previous NABE forecast said employers would add 12,000 to payrolls in that quarter.

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Unemployment Rate Cracks Double-Digit Barrier at 10.2%, Boosting the Odds of a "Jobless Recovery"

Welcome to the jobless recovery. The U.S. unemployment rate zoomed to an unexpected 10.2% in October, piercing the double-digit barrier for the first time in 26 years as employers continued to slash payrolls even as the nation's economy continues to improve. The jobless rate pierced the psychologically important 10% barrier for the first time since […]

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Soaring Productivity, Drop in New Benefits Claims Provide Silver Lining in the Dour Jobs Market

Productivity at U.S. businesses blew away forecasts in the third quarter and initial unemployment claims dropped to a 10-month low last week the Labor Department said Thursday. The reports raised hopes that the labor market may be starting to bottom.

The news sent the stock markets soaring as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 204.05 points, or 2.08%%, to close at 10,006.19, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index popped 20.13 points, or 1.92%, to close at 1,066.63 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 49.8 points, or 2.42%, to close at 2,105.32.

Business productivity rose a higher-than-expected 9.5%, its fastest pace in six years, as companies squeezed more output from fewer workers. A survey of analysts by Reuters had projected productivity, or output per hour per worker, to rise at a 6.4% rate in the third quarter.

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