Expect the White House - and most likely the media - to put some positive spin on the April employment numbers, which are not quite as terrible as those for January, February and March. But with the economy losing 539,000 jobs for the month and unemployment jumping to 8.9 percent, they were bad enough. From the NYT:
Some economists saw glimpses of a bottom in the latest grim accounting of job losses. The economy, while still bleeding hundreds of thousands of jobs, is starting to lose them at a slower pace, offering the latest hint that the recession is bottoming out. "It's a confirmation that we're in the early stages of a turn," said Ethan Harris, co-head of United States economic research at Barclays Capital. "We've just had a big dose of monetary and fiscal stimulus, and we're getting further and further removed form the confidence shock of last fall. All these forces are sort of gathering right now."
Harris went on to say that the numbers are "telling you more about where we're coming from and a little less about where we're going, which is probably a very slow recovery." Since employment typically lags other indicators, the weak numbers should not come as a huge surprise. Wall Street doesn't appear panicked - the Dow is up over 100 points in early trading.