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Economy Continues to Move in the Right Direction

June 2, 2010

We continue to see growing signs of economic recovery, resulting from the economic policies of the Democratic-led Congress and the Obama Administration responding to the Bush Recession and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. More must be done to create and save jobs, but today's news shows the economy continues to move in the right direction–toward sustained growth as unemployment rates fell in 90% of the nation's largest metro areas last month, and car and home sales rose:

Associated Press — Unemployment falls in most metro areas

Unemployment rates fell in April for more than 90 percent of the nation’s 372 largest metro areas as hiring picked up around the country.

The Labor Department says the jobless rate dropped in 346 areas last month. It rose in only 12 and remained flat in 14…

Much of the improvement was seen in Midwestern regions with significant manufacturing operations. Manufacturers, who added 44,000 jobs nationwide in April, are benefiting from increasing overseas sales and efforts by retailers and other U.S. companies to restock their warehouses.

Wall Street Journal — U.S. Car Sales Rose in May

U.S. auto sales rose in May, reflecting an economic recovery straining against volatility in the financial markets and deepening troubles in Europe, General Motors Co. said Wednesday.

GM reported a 17% year-over-year rise in monthly sales, which included a 32% surge for the company’s four remaining brands: Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac. The car maker held on to its market share despite shedding four of its eight brands last year.

Meantime, Ford Motor Co. posted a 22% increase in May U.S. light-vehicle sales as it benefited from high demand for its crossovers and trucks, as well as strong sales to fleets such as rental companies…

Chrysler Group LLC, meanwhile, reported its May sales jumped 33% to 104,819 vehicles, surpassing the 100,000 mark for the first time in 14 months.

UPI — Pending U.S. home sales rose in April

Pending U.S. home sales rose in April, producing an increase in the index for the third consecutive month, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday…

“There were concerns that only a small pool of buyers were left to take advantage of the tax credit extension,” association chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “But evidently the tax stimulus, combined with improved consumer confidence and low mortgage interest rates, are contributing to surging sales.”

The federal tax credit for first-time buyers, which expired April 30, added 1 million buyers to the market, he said.

Yesterday, Gallup reported that American workers are reporting the most job creation in nearly a year and a half:

Gallup’s Job Creation Index hit its best level in 19 months in May. Based on 16,395 U.S. employees’ self-reports of hiring (28%) and firing (21%) activity at their workplaces, the Index improved to +7 — up steadily this year and a total of eight points since January.

And further, Gallup found job conditions are improving in all areas of the United States:

US Job Market Conditions By Region in May 2010 From Gallup