Is the Unemployment Number on the Road to Recovery?
A reason to be cheerful about the future of the economy from the folks at NPR: freight traffic is up significantly since this time last year and “has climbed back to where it was just before the recession.”
That’s good news for a number of reasons: obviously, it’s putting truckers back to work, but the implications of a rise in freight carriage is significantly bigger than that. It’s evidence that the gears of the wider economy are once again beginning to shift—more goods being hauled presumably points to more sales being made, and more jobs being created.
And, while it may be tempting to look at the boom in hiring truckers as a simple result of companies having cut too deep during the recession, the following chart from the NPR article suggests that’s not entirely the case: the recovery in terms of tonnage has been marked, but still remains some way off its peak, which seems to have been in 2007:
Having seen that chart, take a look at the one for the national unemployment rate over the same period. Am I the only one who thinks they bear an inverse relationship to one another—with unemployment trailing freight? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?
Of course, if it’s not wishful thinking, it could be that the coming months will see a decent improvement in the unemployment number. It’s unlikely that it’ll get us “back to where it was just before the recession,”—it would take a dramatic improvement to hit even eight percent, let alone anywhere in the range between seven and eight—but it is a fairly convincing indicator that we’re at least headed in the right direction.