ECONOMY WEEKLY: WEEK OF MAY 3, 2010

For Immediate Release:

May 7, 2010

Contact:

Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130


 
“[T]here is good economic news here, the fact we've added more jobs than any time in over four years. 66,000 of those jobs are census jobs, but 230,000 jobs, new jobs, in the private sector…. [T]he 9.9% number … that has the impact. But that's because more Americans – 800,000 Americans – feel better about their job prospects and are actually looking for jobs for the first time in a long time.”
  – Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 05/07/2010

 
Economy Highlights:

• Today, the Department of Labor reported that the economy added 290,000 jobs, the fourth straight month of growth and largest gain in four years. “In another sign that the recovery in the U.S. economy is taking hold, employers added significantly more jobs to payrolls in April…. There was a gain of 290,000 jobs in the month, up from a revised 230,000 jobs added in March. It was the largest number of jobs added to the labor force since March 2006…. After nearly two years of job losses, the economy has now added jobs in five of the last six months. With upward revisions for both March and February, there has been a gain of 573,000 jobs since the start of the year.”   [CNNMoney.com, 5/07/10]

• A report from Standard & Poor's shows that businesses reported higher earnings for the third straight quarter. “Three-quarters of Standard & Poor's 500 companies have reported quarterly earnings, and the results are better than even the bulls could have expected. So far, first-quarter operating earnings are up 82% from the same period last year at the 381 companies that have reported, S&P says. That's the biggest jump in earnings since S&P started tracking earnings using the same methodology in 1988.” [USA Today, 5/6/2010]

• According to an analysis by market research firm Kantar Retail, retail sales surpassed expectations increasing 1.2% in April from a year ago. In addition, “The International Council of Shopping Centers, a trade group, reported that industry same-store sales rose 0.8 percent in April, marking the fifth straight monthly increase since December.” [Washington Post, 5/07/2010]

• The Institute for Supply Management reported that manufacturing activity increased for the ninth straight month at the fastest rate in nearly six years. “The ISM manufacturing index rose to 60.4% in April from 59.6% in March, showing factories continue to contribute most to the strength of the U.S. recovery. The gain was above economists' expectations for a rise to 60.1%. Seventeen of the 18 industries surveyed were growing in April.” [MarketWatch, 5/3/2010]
 
 
Recovery Highlight:

• Vice President Biden and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $220 million in Recovery Act awards to 15 communities across the country to serve as pilot communities for eventual wide-scale use of health information technology (Health IT). “The [awards] will not only help achieve meaningful and measurable improvements in health care quality, safety and efficiency in the selected communities, but also help lay the groundwork for an emerging health IT industry that is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs.”  [White House, 5/04/2010]
 
 
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