Are things really getting better? Is the economy stalling? Just look at the data:
Gallup Seasonally Adjusted U.S. Unemployment Rate Up in April: " . . . applying the government's historical April adjustment to Gallup's unadjusted number yields a seasonally adjusted April estimate of 8.6%, up from 8.1% in March. . . . the rise in Gallup's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate suggests that the government will report an increase in its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April. Such an increase would contrast with the consensus forecast that the government's April unemployment rate will be unchanged at 8.2%. However, it does seem consistent with the increase in jobless claims in recent weeks and Wednesday's ADP report showing that the economy added only 119,000 new private-sector jobs last month -- not nearly enough to lower the unemployment rate, particularly when seasonal hiring should be increasing. . . ."
UPDATE (Friday, May 4, 2012): Reuters-- U.S. employers cut back on hiring in April and more people gave up the hunt for work, dimming hopes the economy was turning a corner just as President Barack Obama prepared to launch his re-election campaign. Employers added 115,000 workers last month after increasing payrolls 154,000 in March, the Labor Department said on Friday. Economists had expected to see the creation of 170,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked a tenth of a point lower to 8.1 percent, a three-year low, but only because people left the workforce. It was the third straight month in which hiring slowed, intensifying fears that the U.S. recovery is losing momentum and opening the door a bit wider for the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy. "The bottom line is you don't have evidence that this economy has reached escape velocity," said Robert Tipp, an investment strategist at Prudential Fixed Income. . . .
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