Job market improves, but consumers face sharp rise in economic difficulties

Despite an improved employment picture, consumers faced increased economic difficulties in their lives, according to the Consumer Reports index for April. The Consumer Reports Employment Index stands at 50.4 for April, reflective of net job creation in the prior 30 days. This was the first movement of the Employment Index into positive territory since May ‘09. In the past 30 days, more Americans have started a new job (5%) versus losing their job (4.3%). The 5% reporting starting a new job is up from 3.5% the prior month, but behind the recent high point in September 2009 (6.2%).