Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Anecdotal Evidence: The ecomomy lost 93,000 jobs last month, leaving every CNBC pundit with the words "jobless recovery" in their talking points. I'm skeptical. I mean, I believe the numbers, but I'm not sure what they signify, other than something I don't see. You can't drive a block down the big-retail/fast-food strip in my town without encountering "Help Wanted" signs. Everyone seems to be hiring. Granted, we're not talking about jobs for PhDs, but it's work, and it beats panhandling (you'd think).

My guess is that we'll see a slow adjustment leading to slow but sustained job growth, due at least partly to the extension of unemployment bennies. I know several people riding those bennies right now, and most of them are plenty happy to hold off the serious job hunting until they really need to. The economy will not be said to be "creating jobs" simply because those openings are there. Somebody has to take the job before the checkmark goes in the plus column. Those checkmarks will increase as people begin to lose their extended unemployment coverage.

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