I don’t know too much about the folks over at California Forecast, but I can say they are certainly optimistic:
“The phase of the economy cycle in which you become convinced that the economy is clearly in recovery, increased hiring and a reduction in the unemployment rate, is now finally occurring. Nationally, hiring in the private sector has been positive in each of the past 12 months. A total of 1.5 million jobs have been created during this period, and job creation has generally been accelerating. “
“Over 220,000 private sector jobs were created in February, the strongest employment report in nearly a year, and only slightly below the peak of 229,000 jobs created in April 2010. Furthermore, over the past 5 months employment reports have consistently been revised higher the following month. If this pattern holds, more private sector jobs were likely created in February 2011 than in any other month since the recession ended.”
That is their take on the February numbers, but Karl Denninger sees it differently:
“No joy here.
Summary: The report did not show any material amount of acceleration; it is, for all intents and purposes, flat. The Household Survey showed some people going back to work, but in terms of percentage of the working-age population the needle did not move to any material degree. The problem continues to be people we don’t count as unemployed but in fact are, and as such the statistical gerrymandering of the results will give both the left and right something to spin, but in point of fact there’s no evidence of an economy that is recovering it’s ability to generate both private income and tax revenues.”
And there is the little matter of the Gallup Survey:
“There is essentially no difference between the unemployment rate now and the one at this time a year ago; January’s rate, in contrast, showed a 1.1-percentage-point year-over-year improvement. This suggests that the real U.S. jobs situation worsened in February. That is, jobs are relatively less available now than in January.
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In the broader underemployment picture, the situation is much the same. January’s year-over-year improvement of 1.0 points became -0.2 points in February. In turn, this suggests job market conditions in terms of underemployment also worsened during February.”
Yow. Diametrically opposed viewpoints on what the numbers show….No wonder people are confused….