The February jobs numbers were not good, with non-farm employment falling 651,000 jobs and the unemployment rate increasing to 8.1%. And according to the ADP Employment Report, small businesses cut 251,000 of those jobs.
But the good news is job losses do not appear to accelerating. The U.S. economy lost 681,000 jobs in December and 655,000 in January.
March will likely be another bad month, but the economy should see some benefits from the stimulus package beginning in the 2nd quarter. Modest, middle class tax cuts will start and government hiring should go up due to federal hiring increases and state and local hiring stabilizing due to stimulus money.
Some stimulus package infrastructure spending will also start in the 2nd quarter.
According to the Blue Chip Economic Indicators February consensus economic forecast, the economy will bottom out later this year and pick up in 2010.
Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are also forecasting economic growth in 2010.
Let's hope they are right.