El-Erian: Unemployment Data Good, But Economy Not At “Escape Velocity”

PIMCO’s Mohamed El-Erian sees a lot to like in the March jobs report, but says a number of concerns remain for the economy. El-Erian tells Bloomberg that in addition to a good headline jobs-added number, the March data showed the participant rate going up and structural issues, like long-term unemployment, improving. But, he adds, we are not yet at “escape velocity” — where the labor market and consumers can push things forward. He says the… Read More

Krugman: Don’t Let Up On Unemployment

Economist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says the recent jobs data is encouraging — but that it is not cause to stop major efforts to spur job growth. “For once falling unemployment was the real thing, reflecting growing availability of jobs rather than workers dropping out of the labor force, and hence out of the unemployment measure,” Krugman writes in his New York Times column. “Furthermore, it’s not hard to see how this recovery could… Read More

Sonders Sees Employment Gains Continuing

Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders says the recent unemployment data was “pretty close to great”, and sees job growth continuing to be strong in the coming months. Sonders tells CBS This Morning that the January Labor Department report showed “strength across the board”, and she says most leading indicators suggest strong job growth will continue. Some structural problems remain an impediment to job growth, however, she adds, including a skills gap, education… Read More

Buffett Talks Unemployment and Housing

Warren Buffett says unemployment will fall significantly only when the overhang of housing supply works its way off. Buffett tells Bloomberg that he thought we’d begin to see the end of that process by the end of this year, but it now looks like it will take longer. Buffett says it will happen, however, and when it does, unemployment will drop significantly. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH1Wzg6ORLc]  

Pass Debt Ceiling and Start Jobs Agency, Gross Says

PIMCO’s Bill Gross says the U.S. needs to pass debt ceiling legislation, and develop a government-directed investment bank that helps put people to work. “It’s what’s required during periods of time in which unemployment is high and the private sector refuses to invest going forward in the capital markets and in capital spending,” Gross tells Charlie Rose. “It’s a complete waste of people power and productivity to have a 9%-plus unemployment rate, to have people… Read More

Dreman: Bernanke Stuck in the Past on Jobs

David Dreman says U.S. policymakers are approaching the employment problem with antiquated views, and policies that aren’t addressing the real issues with job creation. In his latest Forbes colunn, Dreman says that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke “is fighting the monetary woes of the 1930s,” a period in which domestic stimulus led directly to increased domestic employment. “Our current employment problem is different,” Dreman says. “We currently export our jobs to lower-wage nations like India, China… Read More

Sonders Sounding Bullish, Sees Possible Return of Animal Spirits

Charles Schwab Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders says that while a number of concerns about the global economy remain, several positive signs — including falling correlations, improving employment conditions, and even a possible return of animal spirits — make her think the U.S. market will push higher. “We believe job growth will pick up speed throughout the year as confidence improves and businesses look to keep up with stronger demand,” Sonders writes in her… Read More

Weak Economy Doesn’t Equal Weak Stock Performance, Study Shows

Unemployment remains high, economic growth is slowing, taxes may soon rise, and consumer confidence is near historic lows. But while investors are fleeing stocks in favor of bonds amid the tough economic times, history shows they shouldn’t, according to research from James O’Shaughnessy’s firm. In its latest market commentary (“The Economy and the Stock Market”), written by Patrick O’Shaughnessy, James’ son, O’Shaughnessy’s firm looks at how stocks have fared throughout history when various economic indicators… Read More