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NF Payrolls Disappointment

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On June 3, 2005 @ 9:36 am In Economy | Comments Disabled

I have to disagree with the assessment of job growth as "steady."  Its not — its been erratic, weak and disappointing. NFP rose by a mere 78,000 in May (April’s outlier 274k was unrevised ). March was revised down by 44,000 to 122K.  Weakness in May was across the board, but notable was the poor service sector growth (+64K versus an imaginary +232K in April).

How bad was this report? April’s +274k outlier included (w/o seasonal adjustments) a birth/death improvement of 257k. May’s birth/death adjustment contributed +207k; the bottomline was, even with this fat b/d number, we only got +78k new jobs. Despite the spinning you heard on TV, there’s no way to avoid reality:  This Nonfarm payrolls report stunk the joint up.

Look:  The consumer has held up their part — they’ve spent steadily, despite weak personal income improvement, and even weaker real income after inflation. But they are not the problem — Corporate Business hiring and spending is. This recovery has been unable to generate anything other than stimulus based momentum. There’s been little in the way of   organic (read non-stimulus based) growth.

Unless and until business starts hiring and spending aggressively, the best we can hope for is an anemic, real estate fueled economy.


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