Today’s Nonfarm payroll employment report showed an increase by an above consensus 216,000 in March.

This was a decent number, a step showing marginal improvement. But as per our earlier discussion, the change in March’s net employment was about 0.1%; the upside surprise was about 10% higher than consensus. In other words, the entire employment difference between forecast estimates and actual release was 0.01% of total employment.

Put that way, its hard to get terribly excited one way or another.

Let’s take a closer look at the April Fools release:

• Unemployed persons total 13.5 million; Since November 2010, the jobless rate has declined from 9.8% to 8.8% — a full percentage point.
• Unemployed is now at the lowest level since March 2009
• Gains were in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and mining. Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up.
• Construction and Government employment continues to be weak
• Average hourly earnings were flat ($22.87). Year-over-year, earnings were up 1.7%, still lagging the 2.2% CPI year-over-year increase
• Temporary-help services rose by 29,000.
• Average workweek for all employees was unchanged at 34.3 hours
• Long-term unemployed (27+ weeks) was 6.1 million, an increase in their percentage of unemployed from 43.9 to 45.5%
• Labor force participation rate (64.2%) and employment-population ratio (58.5%) were flat.
• Revisions were modest, but positive

Category: Data Analysis, Employment

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

13 Responses to “A Closer Look at NFP (Fool’s edition)”

  1. SivBum says:

    Time to pile both feet back into the market? DOW has hit an intraday 52 week high of 12,399.84. S&P has taken out 1,235 and holding. The bull is running again.

  2. Rightline says:

    From Bloomberg Surveillance yesterday……Extended unemployment benefits are the new welfare

  3. MorticiaA says:

    A quote from my daily email from Dave Rosenberg:
    •”There are two things that go into economic growth: how much the workforce rose and how productive it was and in the first quarter, it would seem as though productivity growth completely vanished”

    I would argue that corporations have finally reached the point where employees – while happy to have a job – have grown exhausted from carrying heavier workloads. In my office we STILL have not replaced workers lost in the reduction-in-force of ’09. At some point, you just get T.I.R.E.D. There’s only so much GROWTH of productivity you can get out of someone, especially when upper management at said firms don’t sacrificing anything. I assure you: none of their assistants lost their jobs during the recession.

    I have reached my own personal point of diminishing returns.

    Meanwhile, I received my shareholder proxy for my company’s stock. It’s funny how every resolution submitted by shareholders, management’s opinion is to oppose.

  4. mpavan says:

    Why the focus on the “unemployment rate” ? That figure is so massaged as to lose almost all meaning, especially considering the number of people that it doesn’t count one way or another _at all_. It is a very narrow, to me almost useless measure.

    IMHO, the U6 measure (15.7% very high !) , Labor force participation rate (64.2% very low !) and employment-population ratio (58.5% very low !), and unemployment duration (still near all-time highs) are the ones that reflect the big picture (pardon the pun) much more accurately, and they ALL state that things are very bad and not get any rosier (within uncertainties. ignore the fluctuation noise).

    It’s like politicians and economists choose to cherry pick a measure that puts the “economy” in the best light, even if the beam is shining dimly on just a corner of the room …

  5. socaljoe says:

    Forget government statistics. 18.6% of males between the ages of 25 and 55 are not employed.

  6. Molesworth says:

    Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:
    Year-over-year, earnings were up 1.7%, still lagging the 2.2% CPI year-over-year increase
    2010 data shows that median CEO pay went up 27 percent last year.
    With average CEO pay at $9 million (not to mention $2.2 million median bonuses—compensation is back near 2007 levels.


  7. Greg0658 says:

    I read* thru the comments .. but what isn’t available from a stuff point of view .. and imo at a fair price ?

    Except for cheaper non-pollute’g, non-war’g over Energy – what do we need as a species ? Ok maybe a fly’g saucer that compresses into a briefcase (that would be cool).

    I spent my last Christmas gift card** last night and came home with a Alfred Hitchcock dvd4disks for $5 from the bargin bin (in a nifty case that holds 4+). For me that is an eye-opener. What can I really financially productively do ? We have wrung this economy out.

    * – besides the other system changes I’d like to somehow pull off – I’d like a spelling change for one or the other of present and past tense READ.

    ** – $40 also went into 5lbs hamburger and a dog pillow that is actually for me and the couch. (and yeah – Rascal)

  8. Greg0658 says:

    As I wrote that 1st *coda above – I had a conversation at CNBCtv this morning (no one heard it) – I don’t know if this is the thread but ..
    I heard someone say something like this “Now I know what QE is but I’ve lost track of what money is for”
    I exclaimed ..
    Money was invented to reward labor 1st .. imo Labor Payment needs a golf handicap x3
    1> scaled to IQ – dim to smart
    2> scaled to degree of difficulty – easy to hard
    3> scaled to degree of risk – safe to dangerous

    Money is also needed to portion consumable stuff – the divide of hamburger and steak .. and I need some help on that – its over my pay grade & IQ

    Now having said all that and at nearly 54yo .. I get it now – and I’m unhappy – because I realize there are to many people making to many problems – not enough to go around – and I know how we as a species handle that – I understand its the best system*** we can handle with our IQs and wills.

    *** coda – Population drives production increases until the engine can’t handle the population. And then it subdivides the population of its aquired assets, and reduces the numbers for the future growth. Wash Rinse Repeat.

  9. Greg0658 says:

    and while I’m on a roll (none of this is April Fools – I’m serious) hope TBP lets a 3fer in:

    “what isn’t available from a stuff point of view” I wrote above – needs to be expanded on.
    What more could we actually honestly say we need one more version of it?
    So one more person or staff can have a job?
    We all know – what is a positive to one is a negative to another in the art of economics at this stage of wrungoutness.
    At the cost of precious energy spent?

    And before Submit – I have to disqualify that last line some. I sort of think the super corporation structure is to blame for the wrungoutness and therefor the statement is contradictory. Yet I’m pondering there.
    Love that line JoJo “a waste is a terrible thing to mind”.

  10. Greg0658 says:

    1 more please – wish to add (but I can’t find the exact report I saw) on the young not working in this time period. The below report doesn’t hash this out very well (but at age 20) .. and .. the old being forced to work past retirement age for survival.
    The figures I saw were very disturbing of this age & experience before raw youth hires employment situation.

    The Labor Department – THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MARCH 2011

  11. Greg0658 says:

    Do you suppose there is a list at The Pentagon and/or The White House – in the case of a serious situation with oil production – of the required levels – a Dear John & Jane Doe letter:
    “We are sorry to inform you, that we Can Not in these times, offer you a gasoline purchase allowance certificate. Your job function in these times is not required for the vitality of the nation as a whole. We hope this situation resolves itself sooner rather than later. Thank you for understanding.”

  12. [...] Barry on what to make of yesterday's jobs numbers.  (TBP) [...]

  13. Greg0658 says:

    (have’g slept on this mini-book I wrote on Barrys blog .. thank you for the opportunity)

    I watched more tv and reflected on this economy of the world .. and that stuff I wrote above is missing at least one more thing … I am amazed at what has been created .. funny thru stupid; brillant to horrendous – in ALL of our species disciplines ..
    and the function = starvation* (for a better life)

    * coda – “Now I know what PC is but I’ve lost track of what STIMULUS is” (play off a previous line)
    PC = politically correct .. (not PC vs Mac)