While the speed of the economic recovery in the US has been frustrating in its sometimes slow, sometimes inert pattern of improvement, the overall trend of progress signals that the economy and the job market are growing and, more importantly, growing stably. One key data point for gauging the stability of the job market is looking at the number of people who are applying for first time unemployment benefits. Last week, the number of benefits seekers jumped to 357,000 from 341,000 the previous week. These first time unemployment benefits seekers can be seen as representative of large trends of hiring and mass layoffs. Though there was an increase this month in first time seekers, the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits is 5.5 million which is down from 7.2 million last year. According to the AP’s The Big Story, employers have consistantly been adding about 200,000 jobs per month since November. While it may not be a quick recovery, there has been no slipping backwards and for that I am thankful. To read an article on this trend, click the link below.