The skeptics about the U.S. economic recovery are turning optimistic.
Economists including former U.S. Treasury official Brad DeLong, Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman and Stephen Stanley of Amherst Pierpont Securities say a hiring surge in November shows the outlook has finally improved.
The 321,000 advance in payrolls exceeded the most optimistic projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists, while the jobless rate held at a six-year low of 5.8 percent. Skeptics have worried that tax and regulatory policy, a lack of fiscal stimulus and a global slowdown are holding back U.S. growth.
The report was “the first good monthly report of the recovery, if I am not mistaken,” DeLong wrote on his blog and in a Twitter post. That’s because it’s the first monthly jobs report since before the recession with payroll growth exceeding 300,000 and unemployment below 6 percent, DeLong said.
DeLong, of the University of California, Berkeley, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers have called for more government spending to bolster the recovery.
Krugman, a Princeton University economist, wrote in his New York Times blog that this was “a genuinely good employment report this morning — adding jobs like it’s 1999, and some actual wage growth, finally.” At the same time, he said the economy faces risk from the Fed tightening policy too soon.
Krugman in mid-October warned that policy makers face the risk of a renewed downturn, similar to one that occurred in 1937 following the Great Depression. “We are by no means out of the Lesser Depression,” he wrote then.