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Posted May 03, 2013 by

Job Growth Beats Expectations by Adding 165,000 Jobs; Unemployment Falls to 7.5%

Bureau of Labor StatisticsFinally some good news out of Washington, D.C. Although the consensus amongst economists was that we were due for a poor monthly job report, the numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics were actually decent. Not great, but definitely not poor as those of us who watch these numbers were expecting.

The U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April 2013. That beat by some 17,000 the consensus 148,000 gain expected by economists. Even better, the economy added 114,000 more jobs in February and March than had previously been reported. It isn’t unusual for the Bureau to revise up or down the estimates for the previous months but it is always nice when those revisions are higher than lower. With the revisions, job growth in the first quarter totaled 618,000. That’s just slightly behind the 208,000 monthly average during all of last year.

Interestingly, once again the austerity measures in place at the federal and especially state and local government units held back job growth. Private companies added 176,000 jobs, which means that the government shed 11,000 jobs. Given that the percentage of workers employed by federal, state, and local government units is 7.84 percent, the percentage of workers employed by private businesses is 92.16 percent. If the government were creating jobs at the same rate as private industry, the government would have added 14,972 jobs in April and that would have made the April job gains a very healthy 190,972. (more…)

Posted April 05, 2013 by

Only 88,000 New Jobs Added in March; Economists Predicted 200,000

Bureau of Labor StatisticsA cynic might say that the news out of Washington, D.C. is rarely good but today that cynic would be correct. The U.S. Department of Labor released its monthly employment report today and the news was quite disappointing. The U.S. economy added only 88,000, nonfarm jobs in March. Economists had predicted an increase of 200,000. The biggest loser? Retail. In related news, fewer people started looking for work during the month so the number of unemployed people hardly moved (now 11.7 million) and the unemployment rate fell but only slightly from 7.7 to 7.6 percent.

Household Survey Data

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.9 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), teenagers (24.2 percent), whites (6.7 percent), blacks (13.3 percent), and Hispanics (9.2 percent) showed little or no change in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.0 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (more…)

Posted February 02, 2013 by

Despite More Government Layoffs, 157,000 Net New Jobs Added in January

Bureau of Labor StatisticsTotal nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday. Retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade added jobs over the month.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.3 million, was little changed in January. The unemployment rate was 7.9 percent and has been at or near that level since September 2012. (more…)

Posted November 02, 2012 by

Employment Report Blows Away Estimates; Aug & Sep Revised Upward Too

Bureau of Labor StatisticsThe consensus of economic forecasts for today’s payroll report was that in October the U.S. would have added about 125,000 jobs and that the unemployment would slightly increase from 7.8 to 7.9 percent due to an increase in the number of people in the labor force. The unemployment rate announced today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was the same as forecast, but the total number of jobs created was almost 37 percent higher as 171,000 net, new jobs were created in October. Further bolstering the strength of the report was that BLS also announced that some 84,000 more net, new jobs were created in August and September than previously estimated.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade.

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy had no discernible effect on the employment and unemployment data for October. Household survey data collection was completed before the storm, and establishment survey data collection rates were within normal ranges nationally and for the affected areas.

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate (7.9 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (12.3 million) were essentially unchanged in October, following declines in September. (more…)

Posted February 10, 2012 by

Economic Indicators Indicate Job Market About to Boom

The economy still has a long, long way to go before we will recover all of the jobs lost during the recession but the past few months are enough to convince all but the most irrational skeptic that we’re moving in the correct direction. Slowly, but better.

But those who are excited about the economy adding a couple of hundred thousand jobs per month need to keep in mind that if we continue to add jobs at that rate then it will take a decade to make up all for all the jobs lost toward the end of George W. Bush’s presidency as well as at the beginning of Barack Obama’s as the job losses were so monumental (750,000 some months) and the nation’s population has grown since the recession started in 2007. Looking back at job growth in the 1980’s or latter part of the 1990’s, we see that job growth of 250,000 per month is relatively weak. To actually increase the number of jobs we have in real terms, we need to start seeing monthly net jobs increase by at least 300,000 and even 400,000. Unlikely? Hardly. (more…)