Job losses have now been slowing for three straight months. Ever since World War II, a trend like that has been a signal that a recession was in its final months.
Another encouraging aspect of the report was the decline in the number of workers in a part-time job for economic reasons -- a group whose status isn't captured by the headline unemployment rate. In March that figure hit 9 million, the highest on record (although not when adjusted for the size of the population), but last month slipped by 116,000. Here's a chart from the Cleveland Fed showing the fate of this group since 1994:
Still, even a decline in the pace of deterioration -- or outright stabilization -- in job losses doesn't mean the economy will be purring anytime soon as the risk of L-shaped and/or jobless recoveries still loom.
-- Zubin Jelveh