The recovery from the financial crisis that began three years ago has been slow and painful, but the country has seen a number of promising indicators in recent months. Writing for Bloomberg, Alan Tonelson of the U.S. Business and Industry Council contends these signs of recovery might be overstated, however.
Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that the American economy has been slowly but steadily adding jobs across a range of sectors. The preliminary report for April suggests as many as 83,000 jobs were created that month, but Tonelson notes that as many as 34,000 of these positions came from healthcare, social services and education.
Tonelson argues that positions that rely partially or entirely on extensive government subsidies, such as those 34,000, ultimately add little to economic production. Instead, the focus should be on private sector jobs such as manufacturing, which are seen to add value. These jobs have fallen substantially as a proportion of the U.S. economy, from 86.2 percent in 1950 to 83.8 in 2007 to 83.1 today.
Nonetheless, CNBC reports that layoffs have declined to their lowest rate since 2000, offering some hope for eventual growth.