Private sector hiring continues to grow more than economists expected over the last month.

New data from payroll processing company ADP shows that 188,000 private jobs were added in June.

Other positive things I see happening include a reduction in personal debt levels we Americans have; new supplies of energy in the United States and Canada; and the quiet return of manufacturing thanks in part to inexpensive natural gas.

Yet it's like the U.S. economy is in third gear, to put it in stick shift terms. We're not in reverse, we're not puttering along in first gear, and we're not booming in fourth or fifth gear.

As I said in a recent interview I did, it's like a bowler who throws the ball down the lane and expects a strike. Their body language starts trying to guide the ball, but they end up with a split or one pin still standing there.

No matter how hard we try, we can't seem to get that strike. Things aren't going great, but they're not terrible either. It's still an unknown. There's a lot of fog on the path to having prosperity again in the U.S.

Meanwhile, I also saw a new report on retail vacancies that was very optimistic. The Wall Street Journal reports retail vacancies are going down all over. In San Francisco, for example, the retail vacancy rate is is now 3%, which is negligible.

This is yet another sign that new and small businesses are leading by creating new opportunites.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

Show Comments 0