Advertise | Subscribe | Contact Us | Connect with us       | Aftermarket Jobs

Feel the Buzz? Employment, Consumer Debt Picture Improves

February 09, 2012
Bookmark this website Bookmark this website

Even as the U.S. Labor Department noted that available job openings increased sharply, news came that consumer borrowing was reaching pre-recession levels, both factors indicating

greater recovery momentum.

Earlier this week, the Labor Department said the number of open non-temporary public and private sector jobs reached 3.38 million in December, up from November’s 3.12 million jobs and a level matching a three-year high.

On Feb. 3, the government said employers added 243,000 net jobs in January, resulting in an unemployment rate improvement to 8.3%.

The Federal Reserve reported on Feb. 8 that consumer borrowing – both credit cards and bank loans – rose by $19.3 billion in December after posting a $20.4 billion gain in November – both the largest monthly gains in 10 years. While some of this was created by holiday shopping, a lot of the increase came from auto loans and student loans.

Seasonally adjusted total consumer borrowing now sits at $2.5 trillion, closing in on pre-recession levels and up 4.4% from the post-recession low in September 2010.

Analysts noted that the increased borrowing could be interpreted as a sign of growing consumer confidence, but recognized that the increased debt activity was coming even as wages are not keeping pace with true inflation.