The latest jobs report was a welcome surprise. Jobs increased in January by 243,000, cutting the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent.
The question remains: Is this a blip, or has the economy turned a corner?
Earlier in the week, the Congressional Budget Report put out a more pessimistic report, showing unemployment rising to 8.9 percent by the final quarter of this year (which happens to include Election Day), and peaking at 9.2 percent in early 2013.
According to the CBO, we won’t return to pre-recession employment levels until 2019.
Why the grim picture? CBO assumes more budget cutting, as the Bush tax cuts sunset, the deficit keeps declining, and there is no further offsetting stimulus.