Good Jobs News in April

Unemployment is up, but paradoxically, that's good news.

| Fri May 7, 2010 11:25 AM EDT

I may be generally pessimistic about the economy, but we did get a good jobs report today. It wasn't just census hiring either. It was legitimately strong private sector job growth. The unemployment rate rose at the same time — and as the CBPP chart on the right suggests, this means we're probably in for a long, slow, grueling, recovery — but Eric Lascelles of TD Securities explains why a rising unemployment rate isn't entirely a bad thing:

The household survey argued for an even better 550,000 job gain in April, but the number of people looking for jobs rose by an even larger 805,000. As such, the unemployment rate went up. However, the interpretation can be spun in a positive direction since job applicants must be feeling good to seek entry to the labour force in such large numbers.

Steve Benen's employment chart is below. On the less bright side, long-term unemployment increased and wage growth was flat. The latter is obviously normal during the early stages of a recovery, but still, it needs to change if consumer spending is going to keep fueling growth. Overall, though, the report was good news. I'm still sort of pessimistic, but then again, I'm always sort of pessimistic.