Employment in the U.S. grew in April for the third time in four months, indicating that the recovery is gradually becoming self-sustaining.
Notable job gains occurred in manufacturing (44,000), professional and business services (80,000), health care (20,000), and leisure and hospitality (45,000). Federal government employment also rose, reflecting continued hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010 (66,000).
Over the month, employment changed little in wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and financial activities.
More details about U.S. employment are available in this summary from the Department of Labor.
This week there has also been encouraging news about global trade.
Total world trade by all modes of transportation is expected to grow 8.5 percent in 2010 and 7.8 percent in 2011, according to the latest forecast from IHS Global Insight's World Trade Service.
As I have posted about before, major container shipping operators took a deep dive during the global economic downturn, suffering huge losses in 2009. However, during February and March 2010, the number of container ships in layup diminished. In fact, on March 1, layups stood at 1.2 million TEUs (one TEU is one 20-foot container or its equivalent), or 9.1 percent of the container fleet and that's the lowest level since July 2009. IHS Global Insight expects that additional capacity will be taken back into service in the near future as new services are opened and vessels reduce their cruising speed.
In addition, IHS Global Insight forecasts that:
Bulk trade will grow 8.9 percent in 2010 as commodity consumption demand recovers.
Dry bulk commodity shipping tonnage will grow 9.4 percent in 2010, despite decreases in global grain shipments.
Liquid bulk trade will grow 8.5 percent in 2010.
The company also published an intriguing Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2010, available here.