Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Jello-O Economy II

"The economy feels kind of like Jell-O. You can't get your hand on it, and when you try to, it goes the other direction."

That was my answer to Reporter Kent Mallet for Sunday's story on the economy. Is this a "W" (aka double dip) or a "V" (still rising) recovery? That was, essentially, the question Kent asked.

I'm not an economics expert, and I don't claim to be.

I'd much rather write and talk about positive trends. The negative gets plenty of press on its own and doesn't need any help from me.

The truth is, though, that its hard to get a handle on what is going on out there. It really is like Jell-O.

Though we would have liked to have been happily surprised, few of us where surprised that a positive, five month trend in Licking County of seeing employment rise saw its first decline for 2010. As reported, the employment numbers dropped 100 for June to 76,400 people employed.

Don't count me on the pessimistic band wagon just yet though.

A one-month down tic is NOT a trend. Only time will tell.

There were some people who, months ago, were cautioning against optimism and predicting that June's unemployment rates would be bad because June was when U.S. Census temporary jobs would be eliminated.

That was predictable. They were right.

There were at least 5,000 Census jobs in Ohio and probably at or near 100 such jobs in Licking County.

That could explain the down tic just as well as a "double dip" economy could.

People may have gotten their hands on that Jell-O. Time will tell.

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