The third quarter was tough for all but intrepid fixed income investors. Stateside, most metrics confirm what has been a sub-par recovery despite the quantitative easing efforts. The economy is doing better than we had expected coming out of the last quarter. Though we have had a few bumps along the way with some sobering reports regarding durable goods orders which fell 18.3% in August, this followed an extremely strong July order number that was a record of +22.6%. However, there is much better news to report as far as US labor statistics. The Philly Federal Reserve Bank composes as index for state employment data that summarizes employment, average hours worked, and other stats by state. In the spirit of a picture is worth a thousand words, you can see how activity is improving in 43 states, stable in three, and decreasing in only 4.