Just in time for the Labor Day holiday, the nation’s August
employment numbers have been released showing that the number of jobs in the U.S. increased by 128,000 for the month.
Despite this positive showing, PBS aired a documentary this week, “Waging a Living,” about the working poor. The accompanying web page says one in four American workers are earning less than the poverty level for a family of four. Oil prices are high and consumer confidence is low. According to a quote in this Reuters story (also published in the New York Times), “The housing market, gas prices, heating oil, political instability – these are our biggest concerns.”
But all is not lost. That same story says that shops with a focus on the teenage customer (Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle, for instance) had a great month. The article cites back-to-school shopping as a reason. But I’ll take it a step further and say that, where there’s so much to be worried about, people feel better when the kids are happy. There’s an optimism attached to these purchases, a positive look towards the future.
Are you feeling optimistic this Labor Day weekend? Tell us why.