Money Matters - Simplified

Will You Have a Job in 2011?

According to The Wall Street Journal, online job postings at the beginning of this month were up 2 million over their year-ago levels. That's nearly twice as high as at the depths of the Great Recession, just before Warren Buffett crunched the data at his Berkshire Hathawaysubsidiaries and declared the recession over. Citing a need for skilled technical employees, the Journal notes that there's considerable hiring under way at AT&T (NYSE: T)Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), and WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) -- but not just there.

 Since construction, manufacturing, and farming jobs tend to be underrepresented online, additional hiring in these industries could mean that the jobs market is even more robust than the picture above reflects. Indeed, in recent months, we've noted how a rise in the demand for industrial and precious metals has inspired hires of pickaxe-swingers at mining giants Freeport-McMoran (NYSE: FCX) and Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) as well.

Associated Press, your first source in parade-raining
Yet despite all this good news, AP chose this week to play the demagogue and pose the question: "Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn't anyone hiring?" Citing the examples of Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) and UPS (NYSE: UPS) doing respectively "more than half" their hiring in foreign countries, and "hiring at a faster clip" abroad than here at home, AP argued Tuesday that because growth prospects seem stronger internationally than here in the U.S., a lot of U.S. companies are doing their hiring elsewhere.

AP's story was calculated to stoke the ire of the unemployed and grab reader eyeballs. And yet, when viewed in conjunction with yesterday's lower-than-anticipated weekly unemployment claims number (388,000, according to the Labor Department), it seems AP was actually brewing a tempest in a proverbial teapot.

Foolish takeaway
The numbers don't lie: Whatever a few individual companies are doing internationally, the employment picture really does appear to be improving here in the U.S. Maybe 2011 really will be the year in which we start getting our jobs back. If so ... it's about dang time.

© 2010 UCLICK L.L.C.