Don't Worry, Be Happy: Recession's New Theme Song?

Job hunters at a job fairHappy days are here again! What? You didn't get the memo? Well the folks at Gallup Poll say that Americans are more content and comfortable with the idea of their new recessionary lives. We suspect that Gallup couldn't reach many of the 25 million un- and under-employed, but we'll take them at their word that many people think the worst is behind us.

And the reports yesterday that the number of private sector jobs surged in December to the tune of 300,000 new ones, well, that was probably enough to make John Boehner weep. OK, weep harder.Gallup found that Americans, on average, were happier and less stressed in 2010 than they were in 2009. The findings said that the percentage of Americans experiencing a lot of happiness and enjoyment increased by 1 percentage point.

Maybe we just got used to the pain? Or maybe the recession has indeed reordered our priorities and we are making do with less. Certainly, unemployment has allowed us to spend more time with our families. That's a joke, folks.

As for the 297,000 private sector jobs created last month--the largest gain since 2000 on payrolls processing company ADP Employer Services' records--well, that's certainly good news. It will only heighten interest in the government's more comprehensive employment report coming out on Friday.

Some economists say ADP numbers aren't a reliable predictor for the federal employment count. But still, it's nice to find something to be happy about in case Gallup calls.

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