Economic Armageddon averted for yet another month

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After some of the gloomy things I’ve been writing about the economy lately, this morning’s payroll report–revealing that an estimated 180,000 net new jobs were created in March and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.4%–was a nice reminder of just what a wondrous machine the U.S. economy is.

The OECD also released its “standardised unemployment” statistics for the world’s wealthy nations today. The OECD average: 5.7% in percent in February. The 4.5% rate in the U.S. in February was fifth lowest among the 20 OECD members with February statistics available. South Korea had the lowest rate, at 3.4%, followed by Denmark, the Netherlands, Japan, and Ireland. Poland (11.8%), the Slovak Republic (11%) and France (8.8%) had the highest unemployment.

The unemployment rate is a lagging indicator, not a leading one, so none of this really says anything about what might happen later this year. But still, just to get out of the more-pessimistic-than-usual mood I’ve been in lately: Go jobs! Go USA!