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Jobs Outlook Rosier

Jobless claims still high, but showing significant improvementThe jobs that economists, commercial real estate owners and others in the know have been expecting  seem to be on the horizon.  New data from the Department of Labor show a 64,000 net new payroll increase for November, although the numbers fell again in December, January and February.  More information will be available when Labor releases its March Employment Situation report.

There is no denying that the weekly jobless claims report is looking more hopeful.  For the week ending March 20, the four-week average of new claims fell to 454,000, the lowest level since the week ending September 13, 2008.  That was the weekend prior to the failure of Lehman Brothers, when the firm went into bankruptcy, the recession took a nosedive and global financial markets went through the worst upheaval since the 1930s.  Although continuing claims are still 4,658,000 for the week ending March 13, the total has fallen by nearly one million over the last year.

USA Today and Moody’s Economy.com have produced interactive charts that demonstrate the improving jobs picture.  Click on the various states to see the state-by-state employment statistics, and in the left-hand column, click on the various sectors to see where jobs will be generated.  Texas is forecast to grow fastest this year, with education and health services leading the recovery.

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