April Employment

The BLS’s newly released employment report for the month of April showed that the unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.6%. More importantly, it showed net job creation in the US of 288,000 jobs during the month. According to CNN/Money, the average forecast was for 173,000 new jobs, so this comes as a positive surprise, for the second month in a row.

This is a big, big number. In the wake of last month’s upwardly revised 337,000 new jobs, this number takes on added significance. One month of good job growth might be a fluke; two months is more likely the start of a trend. The recovery finally seems to be generating new jobs in a sustained way. Here’s the recent history of employment in the US:

With a little luck, this incipient recovery in the labor market will start translating into higher real incomes for average families; they have not been doing well in this recovery, especially compared to those hardworking individuals and married couples upon whom the Bush administration has showered much lavish attention.