Sunday, March 6, 2011

Two Encouraging Trends

1. I’ve been seeing increased weekend traffic at retail since the middle of February. Shoppers are not exactly rushing to go home with bargains, but they are not just window-shipping either. The increased shopping activity is a sign of a sense of equilibrium among U.S. consumers.

2. There are anecdotes of more employers creating positions without filling them, so that the number of vacant positions is starting to resemble what you would see in a normal economy. Employers have vacancies because they are holding out, looking for workers with extra qualifications, or hoping to hire workers at 30 percent less than the going rate, or not going to the trouble of actively recruiting for the positions. Vacant positions are important in creating a foundation for economic expansion. If these businesses see their needs and funding increase, they could fill the vacant positions quickly by offering higher salaries, trying harder to recruit workers, or budgeting more for worker training for the workers they hire.