Misery loves company: If you lose power in a storm, you hope that the whole area lost power with you, because the utility will work hard to restore electricity when many people are affected. It’s a little bit like that with unemployment: It’s not good to be the only one around without a job, because you’re easily forgotten in the general prosperity.
That’s why today’s jobs report is a mixed blessing for the long-term unemployed. The ADP Research Institute said that private employers added 175,000 jobs in January, a respectable gain given the harsh winter. “There’s a lot of uncertainty on the weather effect, but the broader message from ADP is that the trend in private payrolls remains pretty solid,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y., told Bloomberg News.