The Labor Department added 290,000 jobs in April, the most in four years. The number isn’t making an overwhelming impression on Wall Street, as world markets continue to weather Greece’s financial debt, but David Smith, Associate Professor of Economics at Pepperdine University, noted that the number was at least better than expected, and was “strong evidence to suggest we’re not going to suffer a double-dip recession.”
Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management, also noted the number itself was strong. From 290,000 new jobs, 231,000 were on the private payroll. “They weren’t just government-created jobs, they’re actually private enterprise creating new jobs,” he said.
The robust addition to the jobs market came with a rise in unemployment. But Chris Low from FTN Financial said this actually indicated optimism in the jobs market; according to Low, 800,000 people who were previously discouraged from searching for a job returned to the market, adding to the ranks of the unemployed. “The government doesn’t count you as unemployed unless you’re actually interviewing,” he said.
Though the jobs numbers show strong signs of recovery, Professor David Smith remains cautious. “In the context of how many jobs we’ve lost, which is 8.5 million, we’ve still got a long ways to go,” he said. “These increases are positive, but even if they continue at this pace, we’re going to be at a high unemployment rate for several months and quarters and this is likely to still be a very slow recovery.”
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