What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us

OK job growth is still OK!

David Brancaccio Dec 22, 2011

Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. dropped to 364,000 last week. Sure, that’s still enough to fill the Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis (where the Super Bowl will be played next year) nearly six times over. But 364,000 is 4,000 fewer people than signed up for unemployment the week before, and it’s the smallest number since April 2008.

Quincy Krosby is a market strategist for Prudential Financial. She says the latest jobless numbers are unequivocally good news — fewer people are applying for unemployment, and we’re seeing growth in the private sector.

Still, Krosby says people who are looking for bad news will find ways to pick at the numbers. Sure, it’d be great if the U.S. economy was growing at 3.5 to 4 percent and adding 200,000 jobs each month, but we’re not there — yet.

Krosby says the slow and steady growth will help buffer the U.S. economy against Europe’s long slog ahead and possiblity of a weaker China in coming years. If we can stay focused, the 13 percent of our GDP that’s a product of manufacturing will keep us from going into another recession.

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