Nonfarm payroll employment edged up in March (+88,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment grew in professional and business services and in health care but declined in retail trade.
This report sucks.
A month or two does not a trend make, but this, my friends, is a trend. Pay attention to the annualized (red line) number; this is no longer a “little dip” or a “pause”, it’s a trend change and it’s severely negative.
If there’s one good piece of news it’s here — the total number of employed people went up. The problem is that adjusted for population over the last year we are 1 million jobs in the hole, or about 250,000 worse than last month (-1105 .vs. -849, both thousands)
That shows up right here:
This chart tells the tale and is why the collapse was of such extraordinary violence in 2008 — the alleged “gains” in asset prices and similar were not born from economic surplus powered by employment gains but rather were borrowed.
Despite what the screamers have said about “The Fed” and “Stock Market” the facts are that while the rate of decline has gone flat since the alleged “recovery” there has been no factual recovery.
The employment rate ticked up 0.1% but this is a time of the year when we should see upward movement — and as such one cannot take solace in that figure. The fact of the matter is that real improvement in employment does not exist and has never existed since the bottom in 2009, despite what the useful idiots on the TeeVee have been telling you.
Average workweek ticked up 0.1 and hourly earnings ticked up one cent, but among non-supervisory employees hours were flat and earnings were down a penny.
The trend has clearly shifted and is just plain old-fashioned bad.