Good morning, Paul!
It’s always good to start a week on good news, and today in the Business Beat, we’ve got some.
Here it is: the number of people initiating claims for unemployment insurance is dropping, providing yet another glimmer of hope that we are slowly working our way out of the grips of the COVID-19 crisis.
In the week ending February 20th, initial unemployment claims fell 110,000 to 730,000, the fewest since November 28th and the third lowest total for any week since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of last year.
Now, while it’s too early to call this a significant trend, it sure is good to see claims dropping, signaling that more people are returning to work, and that is good for all of us.
And since it’s a Monday, how about more good news to jumpstart our week?
I’ve got some, another sign that we are heading in a positive direction, well, U.S. retail sales jumped the most in any given single month since June of last year, outpacing economists’ expectations.
In fact, monthly retail and food service sales rose 5.3 percent in January, the biggest percentage increase since June. And the first month-over-month gain in four months, that according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week.
Lastly, I can provide some direct frontline reporting that is also indicative that things are beginning to look up.
Startup entrepreneurs I speak to regularly are indicating that investment into their companies is starting to flow more freely again, and that’s critical for the startup and entrepreneurial community in our region.
Now, I don’t know about you, Paul, but I think the timing for positive news couldn’t hit at a better time. Winter is fading, spring is around the corner, and with it, I think people are starting to just maybe feel a sense of renewed optimism. I know I am.
Make it a great week, everybody!
I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.