The good news is there are signs the recession may be on its last leg.
According to just released figures from the Labor Department, employers shed 247,000 jobs last month. That’s the smallest monthly toll since last August.
That means the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent, defying expectations of an increase.
Mark Zandi, Moody’s Economy.com, told the New York Times, “The trend lines are positive. We are going from massive job losses to just big job losses on our way to a stable job market, I think by next spring.”
And the bad news?
The Obama administration still expects unemployment to reach 10 percent or more before year’s end.
Moreover, economists warned that the unemployment rate only declined because 400,000 people gave up their search for work.
Still, there are positive signs for those out there looking for work.
The length of the workweek slightly increased for the first time since last week – signaling that some businesses are ending their efforts to scale back hours to save on payroll costs.
But I’m not convinced this news does anything to motivate those who remain employed; especially the ones who have stopped looking for work altogether.
The longer you stay unemployed, the harder it becomes for you to land a new job. On top of that, there is the loss of insurance, certain skills, and the possibility of your salary seeing a permanent reduction – all of which are severe blows to your mental health.
For those of you unemployed, is news of the unemployment rate going down encouraging to you?
I’d like to hear from you.
Leave your comments below and share your unemployment experiences with me at email@example.com
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.