Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bright Spot in Disappointing Jobs Report: Financial-Activities sector

If you only read the general media reports such as U.S. Job Losses in December Dim Hopes for Quick Upswing - it sure doesn't seem to include bright news.

As reported in the Investment News, one bright spot in the disappointing jobs report was the fact that the financial-activities sector of the economy added jobs for the first time since July 2007. Financial activities showed a net gain of 4,000 jobs in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. According to Bloomberg, that’s the first gain since the summer of 2007.

Excluding real-estate jobs, the number was even better. Finance and insurance alone added 9,900 jobs last month, also the first increase since July 2007. “The general idea is that the economy is turning, the financial sector is turning, and this is unequivocally a positive,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak. The broader question, Greenhaus said, is how fast other sectors can turn around and boost the economy. Based on the overall middling numbers, “It doesn’t look like we’re set up for an explosion of job growth” like that U.S. economy has experienced following other recessions, Tabak said.

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