Yay! 253,000 Jobs Were Created In April...Sort Of
Dementia Joe's Plan Is "Working"????
Thus much is undeniable about the April Employment Situation Summary: It certainly sounds like good if not excellent news.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 253,000 in April, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and social assistance.
If those numbers are accurate, the April report is quite good. Even more encouraging is that they are not that far removed from Wednesday’s ADP National Employment Report for April.
Private sector employment increased by 296,000 jobs in April and annual pay was up 6.7 percent year-over-year, according to the April ADP® National Employment Report™ produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with the Stanford Digital Economy Lab (“Stanford Lab”).
Certainly the corporate media was happy about the report.
The April jobs report showed the US labor market remains robust, with more than a quarter million new jobs added to the economy last month as the unemployment rate fell to match its lowest level since May 1969.
The US economy added 253,000 nonfarm payroll jobs last month, with the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropping to 3.4%, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Friday.
Even Dementia Joe’s handlers on Twitter around.
With such good news on the labor front, what could possibly be wrong here?
And then reality set in….
To be sure, there are some undeniably bright spots in the jobs report. That full time workers increased month on month by 433,000 (unadjusted) is a plus.
That part time workers continue to decline—down 99,000 in April—is still a negative, however.
That the number of unemployed on an unadjusted basis was lower in April than it was this past December is also a plus. It’s good that people are going back to work.
It is certainly a plus that the ADP numbers showed job growth in nearly every category, with only Financial Activities posting a decline year on year.
There are some legitimately good things to talk about in the April jobs report.
It is not a good thing that the seasonally adjusted number of workers employed per the Household Survey only rose by 139,000 month on month.
(The 253,000 headline figure is the seasonally adjusted number from the Establishment Survey within the report).
It’s an even worse thing that the seasonally adjusted number of persons not in the labor force rose by 214,000 month on month—more workers exited the labor force than came off unemployment durng the month (182,000 seasonally adjusted).
Workers leaving the workforce is never a good thing.
The month on month unadjusted numbers are even worse, with more than double the number of workers leaving the work force than joining the ranks of the employed.
These numbers alone call into question the accuracy of that headline number corporate media and Dementia Joe’s handlers are celebrating. Once again, the Household Survey raises the specter of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ favorite statistical sin, Lou Costello Labor Math.
Unlike the two prior months, in April the unadjusted number of workers added per the Household Survey was less than half that of the jobs created per the Establishment Survey.
The seasonally adjusted data month on month is not any better—the Household Survey shows roughly half the number of newly employed as the Establishment Survey (139,000 vs 253,000).
Once again, we are confronted with the BLS
made-up unreliable data on jobs. So much for Dementia Joe’s latest victory lap around the Oval Office.
Perversely, only the Household Survey data comes the closes to the corporate media’s “surge”, as the year on year seasonally adjusted data shows the Household Survey’s Employment Level registering the only real increase, while the Establishment Survey data showed no significant change year on year.
Yet even at that, all the jobs metrics are showing a steady slowing of job growth from early 2022 onward. Far from “surging”, job growth in this country has been slowing down since at least March of last year.
That’s not good news for anyone except the ever-deluded Jay Powell, who has made it his mission to destroy gainful employment in this country in order to crush consumer price inflation.
Powell would probably prefer the unadjusted numbers, as they show an even greater slowdown in job growth for the Establishment Survey.
What Powell would definitely prefer is the continued decline in real wages over the past two years.
Real hourly earnings are only slightly less negative since 2021.
While April’s official inflation data has not yet been released, we can plug in the latest NowCast figures from the Cleveland Fed to get an approximation of how much workers lost in real income during April.
Inflation is still higher than wages, which means workers are still losing money across the board.
They are losing money at an hourly level:
They are losing money at a weekly level
By every inflation metric typically used, workers are steadily losing purchasing power, and have been since 2021.
It’s hard to get excited about jobs that put people further in the hole than they were before.
While the corporate media and the regime in the White House will crow and misdirect about the headline jobs “growth” number, the reality of the employment picture in the US is best understood by realizing that, more than a full three years after the government-ordered recession that expanded the ranks of those excluded from the labor force by nearly 9%, more than half of them are still outside the labor force.
To put that in concrete terms, of the more than 8.4 million workers removed from the labor force as a result of the recession, 4.5 million of them have yet to return, more than 3 years after the fact.
Those that have returned to the work force have returned to declining real incomes and rising inflation.
This is what Dementia Joe’s handlers describe as an economic plan that is “working”.
Working for whom?
The world wonders….
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