Cautious Optimism for Economy, Jobs 7/10/2012 10:00:00 AM
The unemployment rate continues to hover around 8 percent according to the latest numbers from the Department of Labor Statistics. Nothing ground breaking came out of the jobs report released July 6, 2012 though it has decline almost a whole point since June 2011.
Unemployment rate per segment was virtually unchanged with teens (23.4 percent) and blacks (14.4 percent) feeling the effects the most. While it’s good news that unemployment didn’t increase, we still have a long way to go as almost half of those unemployed have been looking for employment for more than 27 weeks.
Last year, economist with the National Association of Home Builders and American Institute of Architects said the housing industry will not return until the job market makes a full recovery. Homeowners are not going to feel comfortable spending money when they are unsure of their jobs – or don’t have jobs. But homeowners’ outlooks may be changing according to the latest report from Consumer Reports that gauges consumer confidence regarding their financial health.
Consumer confidence rose to its highest levels since October 2008 as fewer people feel a financial strain, found in the Consumer Report Index release this week. Positive sentiment rose significantly in households making less than $50,000 which was one of the most intriguing results from the report.
Numbers and statistics are great to give us a glance into what may be happening with the economy, but what is actually happening where you operate your business can be a completely different result. If you aren’t seeing these positive sentiments from prospective and current clients, these statistics don’t mean much.
I’m hopeful that some of you are seeing business improve and more phones are ringing. And for the businesses that are feeling the vast effects of the past few years, hopefully these latest numbers give you an optimistic outlook on where the economy is going.