The value of all goods and services produced by the American economy grew by 2.6 percent during the third quarter of 2010 – a touch higher than the 2.5 percent growth rate announced by the U.S. Commerce Department a month ago.
Nonetheless the new gross domestic product (GDP) number fell short of analysts’ expectations … although positive retail growth during the fourth quarter of 2010 has many forecasters optimistic about the prospect of a sustained recovery in 2011.
The GDP grew by 1.7 percent during the second quarter of 2010 – which was down from a 3.7 percent growth rate in the first quarter and a 5 percent growth rate during the fourth quarter of 2009. Those artificial gains – fueled by short-term borrowing – were unable to spur job growth, however.
Will the recent economic uptick be enough to finally start impacting employment?
That remains to be seen … particularly after November’s dismal employment report, which showed the weakest job growth in ten months. More than 15 million Americans are currently unemployed – including 6.3 million who have been unemployed for longer than six months.
Currently at 9.8 percent, unemployment has remained at 9.4 percent or higher for the last eighteen months.
That’s after U.S. President Barack Obama said that his so-called “stimulus” would create 3.5 million jobs and keep unemployment below eight percent.