The economy is on the rise. The Dow finally passed 9800 and all the leading indicators are up. As one would normally expect, lagging indicators like unemployment will continue to rise even as the economy recovers as employers wait for greater certainty before increasing hiring. But in the mean time, business investment, and exports are on the rise.
Another reason to be cheerful is the decline of unproductive labor in the finance industry. Over the past decade, some of the best and brightest minds of our generation went into the financial services industry to create products that duped people into thinking they could afford them. The percentage of workers in the finance sector doubled between 1996 and 2006 and as recently as 2007, 40% of the graduates of Harvard and 30% of MIT graduates went into the finance industry because that is where the big money was. Now less than half that number is going into that unproductive industry.
This could be a real boon for the economy. Innovation is what drives our economy forward. If our our best and brightest brains are engaged in the creation of new businesses that make new products that fullfill real demand we have one more reason to be cheerful.