During the closing days of summer, we saw a lot of attention being paid to the state of the economy, and what direction it seemed to be heading in. July and August are the time of year when a lot of people are on vacation, things are slow at work, and people don’t really pay as much attention to the news. And for that reason, there didn’t seem to be much consensus as to where the economy was going. Now, Labor Day is past, we’re all back at our desks, and we’ve gone back to the working world (except for me, alas).
And, having returned to the world of work, the economic indicators that we’re seeing are encouraging. Jobless claims for the month of August fell more than expected, beating economists’ predictions by 27,000. Other hopeful signs included a narrowing US trade deficit, along with a better-than-expected gain of 67,000 jobs in the private sector last month. Also among the positive signs is the rise in the number of open jobs rose by 178,000 to 3.04 million, meaning that there are now 4.8 people available for every open job in the US, down from 6.8 in the recent past, a challenging situation, but still better than earlier in the year.
So, while this is a statistic-heavy post, the economy is turning around, although it’s very slow, and we should see the unemployment rate start to come down incrementally over the coming months. It can’t come a moment too soon.