Compared to stocks and real estate, the job market’s a slacker

Job seekers wait in line to have their resumes reviewed at a job fair on November 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California.

The much-awaited monthly jobs report comes out this morning on the heels of some pretty good economic data: weekly unemployment claims have been down; economic growth was up more than expected in the spring; and people have been driving new cars off the lot with striking briskness. But the question remains, will all that add up to more jobs?

With consumer confidence at a 5-year high, Americans are feeling pretty good. Just look at soaring stock and home prices, says Economist John Canally at LPL Financial.

“Plus the decent gains in the job market -- you know, 200,000 a month or so over the last year, which isn’t bad," he adds. That's pretty thin praise when it comes to the jobs market. Canally says compared to stocks and real estate, the job market is a slacker.

“A lot of the jobs we’ve created recently have been part-time not full-time jobs, which don’t have benefits, so I still think there’s a lot of struggle in there," he says.

Government has been losing jobs. Private employers have picked up some of the slack, says Anika Khan at Wells Fargo. But, she says, “large businesses have largely been on hold in hiring -- many of them have been able to turn corporate profits without adding to their payrolls.”

Good for the stock market. Not so good for the workers at the companies that trade there.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.


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