Next Economy Notes April 9

Good morning and welcome to Next Economy Notes. I hope you enjoyed the holiday of your choosing over the weekend. 

Lots of spin in the aftermath of Friday's jobs report:

This analyst says the economy needs to add 176,000 jobs a month for unemployment to be under 8% by early November. Hmm, wonder why early November might be considered important?

The White House sent the following note out to a group of small business owners:

"This spring marks an anniversary of sorts: more than two years of job growth in America. Over the past 25 consecutive months, over 4.1 million private sector jobs have been created by businesses like yours. Over 600,000 jobs were added in the first quarter of this year alone. It is a story of an economic recovery. With 8 million jobs lost in the worst recession since the Great Depression, there is still much work left to do. But, thanks to you, this is an economic recovery steadily moving in the right direction."

However, the Wall Street may not be as optimistic. It's never good when the word 'dour' is in the headline.

Meanwhile, gas prices are poised to break $4/gallon as a national average this week. The cost of a gallon of gas has already risen 14% since February 1st.

The $4 barrier has long been seen as psychologically important to consumers. But is that still the case? According to this LA Times piece, the answer is sort of. Consumers are not happy with rising gas prices, but appear to have less intense feelings than they did 4 years ago. 

(As an editorial aside, your humble writer predicts public concern will soar once gas prices stabilize over $4. And if $5/gallon gasoline happens this summer, prepare for consumer armageddon.)

On a positive note, an analysis of the Department of Energy's renewable grant program indicates the effort created tens of thousands of jobs.

On an unrelated note, the passing of Mike Wallace has unearthed a treasure trove of tributes. This story is pretty incredible.