There’s good news in the US economy. Unemployment finally dropped below 5%. Ironically, it happened while job growth was less than expected, and while wages were increasing (0.5% in January). The news is mixed. Getting unemployment below 5% is worth celebrating, but there are so many components to the jobs numbers that it is hard for them all to head in the same direction. In recent months, job growth has been in jobs with falling salaries. Wage growth has been from increased hours rather than raises. US GDP growth was about 0.7%, close to negative, but positive. Layoffs continue, as always. Meanwhile, many other countries are in worse shape leaving the US as the stabilizer. There is good news, especially for those who got jobs; but it comes with buts and astericks.
(Click on the graph for the link.)