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117,000 jobs could turn mood away from ‘recessionary’

Marketplace Staff Aug 5, 2011
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BOB MOON: So this is just the news Wall Street needed, right, after yesterday’s 500-point rout. Or is it? With us live, as he is every Friday at this time, Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial. What about it, Chris — strongest job growth since April — is this gonna be enough to change the mood, you think?

CHRISTOPHER LOW: Well, it definitely changes the mood, because the mood yesterday was downright recessionary. You know, 117,000 new jobs — that’s not great, but that’s pretty good. There were 54,000 jobs revised into May and June — that almost doubled the gains originally reported. And then there were also 40,000 or so government jobs cut, so 154,00 new jobs in the private sector, that’s pretty good, too.

MOON: But what about the fact that lower unemployment rate was due largely to folks giving up their hunt for a job?

LOW: Well, and that’s the sort of deeper underlining meeting here, 117,000 jobs is pretty good, by recent standards, but it’s not at all good by historical standards. We’re just not doing enough in this economy to pull the unemployment rate down, except as people become discouraged. I do think eventually that’s going to change, but we have to keep the economy going for another year or so before we get there.

MOON: We’ll keep our fingers crossed until we get there. Chris Low at FTN Financial, thanks.

LOW: You’re welcome.

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