Things Aren’t Getting Less Worse But They’re Getting Worse Less Quickly

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flickr: ArtemFinland

The data give us reason to hope that jobs are coming back, writes Daniel Gross at The Big Money.

The economy only lost 190,000 jobs in October, a much smaller loss than the six hundred thousand or so the U.S. was shedding each month back in early 2009; the BLS revised down the job-loss figures for August and September (so they were less awful than we thought), and first-time unemployment claims are falling.

Too, productivity rose by 9.5 percent in the third quarter: that means that more companies are doing more work with the same number of people. “But just as hamsters can run only so fast on their treadmills, there are limits to productivity growth….Should the economy expand in the fourth quarter at the same 3.5 percent annual rate it did in the third quarter—as it shows every sign of doing—companies won’t have any choice but to hire.”