In February, unemployment rose in 27 states and declined in just six. We already knew the unemployment rate was steady at 9.7%, but as we’ve said any number of times, that number is a far cry from the calculation of what most people would really consider unemployment. Its value is really just in indicating the trends.
Most relevant to our readers, New York was steady at 8.8% and California at 12.5%. Or pick your own states, in this nifty WSJ tool.
The unemployment numbers may not give much cause for optimism, but excitement abounds that the S&P 500 had its fourth-straight weekly winning session – the longest such streak since August – and that is being viewed as a possible indicator that the recession is ending.
“Investors are realizing that the U.S. expansion is quite solid,” said David Kelly, who helps oversee $445 billion as chief market strategist for JPMorgan Funds in New York. “It will probably pick up pace rather than slow down from here. That’s the main thing behind this stock rally.”
If that doesn’t convince you, maybe the return of helicopter commuting will.
Law firms aren’t the only place where pay is being cut; overall US personal income from wages, dividends, rent, retirement plans and government benefits declined 1.7% last year, unadjusted for inflation.
The rest of the week’s law-firm news, after the jump.