The numbers are in, 330,000 filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, the lowest growth in several years.   Meanwhile lots of news about new private sector hires for the month of December of 250,000 - best in several years.  Whoa, before blowing the horns do some simple arithmetic, 330,000 by 4 equals 1.3 million for a month compared to 250,000.  Of course those who file for unemployment is not exactly the same number as new hires.  For starters, unemployment benefits are considered to be a short term event (although the Congress is passing an extension of these benefits).  New hires implies a long term event (forget that  many are part time and contract hires).

No matter how you spin it, and I was a “spin doctor”, the job scene is still bleak.  The only exceptions that I noted in my previous blog are jobs gone vacant in the booming oil and gas industry and jobs unfilled in fields requiring special education or training.  The massive use of Federal funds either through deficit spending or Federal Reserve “quantitative easing” have not sparked a real recovery.  Instead we have a tepid response and lackluster performance.