April's job numbers busted four year lows... and the stock market responded with a robust day of trading. The question: is the national trend happening here... and if it's here to stay?
NBC 5's Jennifer Elliott has more on the numbers which are bringing some hope.
Despite higher taxes and government spending cuts, economists say the Labor Department's report is a reassuring sign which may keep the country from it's usual spring slump and summer swoon.
Is the economy on a trend to mend?
"Cautiously optimistic," says Pam Hamilton, co-owner of Paddington Station in Ashland. The store has been in business for forty years, as such she's seen all the ups and down. For her, April sales were flat. "I think the Rogue Valley lags a little bit, but we're always bolstered by good news like this because it does rub off on us," says Hamilton.
Today, economic optimism sparked with the newest jobs numbers, in fact unemployment rates are at their lowest rates in four years, dropping from 7.6 percent to 7.5 percent.
"The market took flight and I think that's a harbinger of things to come," says Matt Patten of Cutler Investment Council. He also states, more important than the unemployment rate, U.S. employers added 165,000 jobscausing the stock market to:
"The stock market for the first time went above 16 hundred."
While local April numbers won't be released for another week, work force analyst Ainoura Oussenbec says this year Jackson County added 460 jobs compared to last.
But she says, it's projected to be a slow recovery,"When you look at the peak employment jobs we still haven't got those back."
Nationally construction and government cut jobs last month. And Ashland staple, Renaissance Rose says their first quarter's been difficult "Locally it's still a struggle," says employee Kat Nadel, "...it's been a difficult year on the plaza with the renovation and everything."
"The economy is very challenging," says Paddington Station co-owner Hamilton, "...we're always on our toes."
April numbers keeping Hamilton hopeful, while she watches each step in this delicate market...hoping the good news brings a good tourist season this summer to Southern Oregon.
While there are more jobs..they pay less than in past years..
but even there---Work Force Oregon says optimism is showing up as some higher paying jobs are starting to make a comeback.