Jobs Report: The Big Suck


This is just plain bad.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care, but declined in transportation and warehousing.

Meh.  Let’s look at the internals and the household numbers, because that’s actual numbers instead of political crap.  Incidentally, my guess was +100k +/- 50, so 115k is pretty close.

In summary for those who don’t want to read the entire thing — this is a weak report.

The annualized improvement is curling over and the monthly number is not going anywhere good.  What’s worse is that the not-in-labor-force number continues to go the wrong way and was up nearly 600,000 last month.

The employment rate moved upward a touch, but it’s still sitting in the ditch and this is the key number for everyone to focus on, as I’ve pointed out for years — without this problem being repaired the governmentmust downsize dramatically or we will hit the wall.

And finally, in terms of being screwed, we still are.

This chart is simply the annualized (now .vs. 12 months ago) difference between employment and population.  That is, in this case, 242,784 (in thousands) less 239,146 = 3.638 million more people (according to the BLS) in the country compared to 12 months ago, but there are 141,995 – 139,661 or 2.334 million more people employed.  That is, on a working age non-institutionalized population-change-subtracted basis we have lost 1,304,000 jobs compared to the same point one year ago.

The last positive number we printed on this series, and that was only 480,000 jobs net of population growth, was in December of 2006.  There is no way to sustain the size of the government, say much less its growth given the six-year unbroken record of losses.

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Over the past several years, people have dropped out of the labor force at an astounding, unbelievable rate and because this is not included in the government figures, it holds the official ‘unemployment rate’ low.  In essence, these government figures are intentional fiction designed to keep the American people from realizing just how horrifying our government’s monetary policy and our monetary system is.