The Employment Situation


Here it is…..

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in December, and the unemployment rate, at 8.5 percent, continued to trend down, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  reported today. Job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, health care, and mining.

Uh huh.  Let’s see what we actually have in here.

Heh the annualized doesn’t look so bad eh?  But look at the blue dashed line — that’s not so good.  And we need to dig into that and figure out what’s up, because I don’t like that trend at all.

Ok, so the actual number of employed people went down.  Hmmmmm.

“Not in labor force” went down slightly as a trend (that is, the slope decreased), but increased numerically.

How about the employment rate — the most-important number in there, since it controls the taxing capacity of the government.

That’s not good — it’s down a touch and has flat-lined now for basically two years.

Here’s the problem with this report — the non-institutional working-age population went from 240.441 million to 240.584, a gain of 143,000 people of working age.  But the number of employed people went down from 141.070 million to 140.681 — a loss of 389,000.  Adding the two, which is the correct way to look at it, the economy on a population-adjusted basis lost 532,000 jobs.

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