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News

January 30 2012

Long Climb Ahead

Improved employment still first leg of recovery trek

Digging deeper than the initial buzz over the better-than-expected December employment numbers, there are signs of the labor market continuing to be on more solid footing. The signs, however, are reinforcing only that we are just in the first leg of a long upward climb.

Among the details of the Bureau of Labor Statistics report for December 2011:

  • The private sector actually increased employment by 212,000 positions, while employment in the public sector again dragged employment, albeit slightly, in the wrong direction – shrinking by 12,000.
  • In the past two years, the private sector has had just two months of shrinking employment numbers (January and February of 2010). But, the public sector has had 18 months where employment shrunk, and that time period includes the massive hiring for the federal decennial census.

For full ILR News Center story see:

http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/news/010912_LongClimbAhead.html

Watch for February 6th posting of this quarter’s ICS Quarterly Commentary of the Employment Cost Index. For past commentaries on labor market and compensation interpretations of the ECI, see:

http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/ICS/InsightsAndConvenings/ECIcommentary.html