Chicago Tribune (03/11/12) Paul Wiseman
Job gains since the start of the year look promising, and observers believe these gains are more sustainable this year than they were in 2011. They point out that companies will continue to hire more workers because they cannot increase output at current staffing levels. Also helping to sustain job gains are increased consumer spending, an ease of tensions in Congress that led to a payroll tax extension, signs of recovery in the housing market, an ease in concerns about Europe’s debt crisis, and a jump in lending to businesses by U.S. banks. Additionally, state and local governments appear to be adding jobs, with 10,000 jobs added at the state level so far this year and 2,000 jobs added by local governments last month.