Jobs boost to Obama as recovery picks up pace
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Sunday 01 April 2012
Stock market investors expect it will be a Good Friday for news on the jobs front when a pivotal US unemployment report is released at the end of this week, despite the trading holiday.
The world's largest economy is believed to have added about 213,000 jobs in March, the fourth month in a row that employment gains have totalled more than 200,000. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at a three-year low of 8.3 per cent.
The US equity market has surged more than 6 per cent since the start of the year on signs that: the labour market is picking up; the economic recovery is no longer sofragile; and US consumers could soon emerge from their four-year funk. Consumer spending accounts for 70 per cent of US GDP.
However, Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics, cautioned: "At some point, the recent employment gains will translate into faster income growth, but households will presumably use this to replenish their savings before boosting consumption growth."
Despite the strengthening labour market, the consensus among the economists' forecasts is that no change is expected for average hourly earnings or hours worked during March.
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