Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. I’ve always felt that the overarching reason for optimism is that the long-term trend for mankind has been up. I’m fortunate to be on the distribution list of Bill Dunkelberg, Professor of Economics at Temple University and an expert in small business, who recently sent a four-minute YouTube video from the BBC that proves the point. The video chronicles 200 years of progress in the health and wealth of mankind. Recessions? Financial crises? Wars? They’re all temporary setbacks, nothing more than a blip in time. This is why your kids will be better off than you despite the economic challenges ahead of us. Click here to view the video.
Back in the middle of the forest, the view is looking better. Weekly initial jobless claims fell by 36,000 to 383,000 for the week ending February 5th. It was the second sharp weekly drop in a row. The level of initial claims has not been this low since the week ending July 5th, 2008 – before the bottom dropped out of the labor market in September of that year. The two consecutive sharp drops could be weather-related, but the trend is in the right direction.