Is this the big one?

That is the question that a few smart observers have raised, wondering if this NFP report might be the one that convinces folks that the overall direction of the economy has changed.

Have a look at this chart from David Leonhardt at Economix:


Net new jobs has clearly been on a downslide since the peak 5 months ago.

A variety of other data points suggest a slowing of the economy, but not an imminent recession. However, it wont take much int he way of negative data to raise those fears again.

The overall trend in em0ployment has been muddling along, 100-200k for most of the past year. Consensus is for 150,000 new jobs following the punk April report of 115,000.

This month, I am closely watching revisions, temp help and hours worked.


Employment situation report released at 8:30am





Category: 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.

22 Responses to “How Important Is May Employment Situation Report?”

  1. normal1 says:

    From what I’ve seen locally, the “labor situation” resembles a slow leak. Layoffs, usually under 50 employees so they’re not reported, are still happening as the jobs are “transitioned” to Mexico. So, it’s business as usual. It’s hard to imagine there was a time in this country when workers would stand up and question the ROI of outsourcing or any other creative business decision that affected jobs and therefore communities.

    I suppose some of the reluctance comes from knowing that no one’s got their backs anymore. Politicians serve their masters, and the current masters all belong to big business. They’ve got a good thing going, you help me, I’ll help you, so why change unless you’re forced to change?
    This quote seems appropriate: Resistance is futile.

  2. Greg0658 says:

    sorry www I’m gonna ditto a post just made in FB:

    Open Forum: America no longer democracy; Country a bureaucracy
    “Time brought changes, our country switched from a democracy to a bureaucracy. New agencies and bureaus were created so that the employees would vote for the politicians that created those agencies and bureaus. Those employees were assured of a job and the politicians were assured of being elected.”

    I’m with you to a point & commend you for efforts to fix this mess .. the point I will make is this > a government job is a JOB; and for the most part, labor dollar cash money that returns right back into the community for a service.* As opposed to cash money to keep someone alive such as food stamps & housing assistance or worse yet behind bars.

    I’m not opposed to government assitance as in the last paragraph .. I think we both have the root problem of an overgrown population with the development of machines taking away the need for human muscle power; and the transference to brain power which not every human being has in the amount needed for todays hi-tech world.

    coda* > The overgrowth needs food & energy = FACT .. so every living item of livestock** is someones income statement FACT overpopulation equals inflation; for the human will find a way to survive its our animal nature

    ** livestock definition = a living being housed by the human race


    onT sorta – that shot yesterday with wannabe Romney at Solyndra – if I thought it would be effecive with my megawatt reach I would fab this up:
    - in auctioneer speak selling factory “I’ve got this built and turnkey solar cell factory – by being here – you all are interested in – so lets get started at a reasonable 50% pricetag – twofiftymil twofiftymil twofiftymil twofiftymil common guys it ready to put your key in the door twofiftymil twofiftymil OK onetwentyfivemil onetwentyfivemil onetwentyfivemil onetwentyfivemil …… I see you all are real bargain hunters – lets go to the bottom onedollar onedollar OK do I have two

    NOW at the same time the other side of the screen has a list of the employees wages that built the factory and the suppliers that sent materials being striked down to match the going sale price

    ALAS – you (we) built a lovely market vehicle – don’t mess with success

  3. dead hobo says:

    BR asked / wondered:

    How Important Is May Employment Situation Report?

    It depends on how much you enjoy soap operas. Personally, I wish I saw the original Dark Shadows as this economy looks a lot like that particular soap opera. Fans of that one tell me of poor production values, horrible acting, shadows in the background from stage hands milling about, stage items that fall from wherever into the camera shot, forgotten lines, and lots of it on a regular basis. The continual flow of incompetence and errors combined with actors that just kept on going regardless was a big part of the success of the soap opera. Today’s labor number is just another artifact in the script that will be important until the next one in July which will be the most important statistic ever reported in the history of time. Just ask the pundits.

    Just as real commodity trading needs continual volatility to make money (as opposed to commodity fund buying which needs continually higher commodity prices to make money) , this economy has devolved into one that requires world shaking volatility just to make money. If you take a step back and look at the world abstractly, the entire investment world has become a synthetic derivative of the real economy. Dark Shadows production values appear to be a big part of what it takes to make money in the markets. So this begets the question … how much of the world economy is due to bungling, and how much is due to some form of scriptwriting accompanied by world class bungling.

  4. mathman says:

    The Australian based multinational that bought out the corporation that my wife works for (yes, she has the “good job”) trashed it and ran it into the ground; when it was bought by a large national concern they immediately downsized the place to about half of it’s former employees due to lost business. That involved about 250 terminations and the new building they’re in is effectively a “ghost town” now with so few people in it.

  5. ZedLoch says:

    “Since its most recent low in January 2010, manufacturing employment has increased by 495,000.”

    I find that funny for some reason. Maybe because its a little bit contrary to popular belief?

  6. rootless says:

    A variety of other data points suggest a slowing of the economy, but not an imminent recession.

    At what data are you looking to draw this conclusion?

  7. jnkowens says:

    Given the disaster that was the report, and the resulting reaction of markets, does Ben start warming up the helicopter? If not, get used to the phrase “President Romney”.

  8. The only thing more cooked than a BLS bs report was an Enron book. 22.5%=depression.

  9. Paul S says:

    OK. An architect checks in here.
    BLS says 300 new jobs in the architectural and engineering professions last month. Using the 1/2.5 ratio of primary to support staff that’s a grand total of 85 licensed professionals. Assuming half engineers and half architects, that’s 42 architects hired last month, or less than one per state.
    This is not how to manage a depression. (See: FDR, New Deal etc… ) Unfortunately, the Republicans don’t think we can afford such programs. I’ve got news for them, we can’t afford not to.
    Now coming up on a year of unemployment, I have been out of work for 26 of the past 31 months.
    I don’t blame Obama. The Republicans just suck.

  10. constantnormal says:

    “How Important Is May Employment Situation Report?”

    Ask a newly-minted college grad … from last year, or the previous year.

  11. CSF says:

    BLS says 69K versus expectations of about 150K. Unemployment up to 8.2% on slightly higher participation.

    1) QE 4 on June 20th?
    2) Looks like we’re gonna have ourselves a real election contest, after all.

  12. Winston Munn says:

    The new American business model: hire short; fire long

  13. Gnatman says:

    On the horizon, but too late for this election…
    Reshoring is expected to become more viable with each passing year, as the total landed cost gap of manufacturing offshore shrinks. The Hackett Group’s research found that the cost gap between the U.S. and China has shrunk by nearly 50 percent over the past eight years, and is expected to stand at just 16 percent by 2013. This trend is largely driven by rising labor costs in China, as well as rising fuel prices globally, which affects shipping costs.

  14. rktbrkr says:

    This report sucks and last months revision is equally sucky. Are we at the point where discharged military are making an impact on the numbers? Just curious.

    Right now O’B has lost his mojo and Mutt has been presented with his talking point for the next 5 months. Hard to argue the stimuli are working with all the MSM negativity on last few months jobs. It’s the jobs stupid!

    Jobs plus the Euro meltdown will put an instant chill on discretionary income, esp big ticket items.

  15. rktbrkr says:

    Time for O’B to wrap himself in the flag and take out Assad, the choices are a cruise barrage or SEALs again.

    SEALs provides more drama but even the Assad Squad might be able to take out a few SEALs and that could turn the whole exercise into a Carteresque affair.

  16. Winston Munn Says: June 1st, 2012 at 9:34 am

    The new American business model: hire short; fire long

    no kidding..

    “Perma-Temp”, not, just, an HVAC Contractor, anymore..~

  17. Orange14 says:

    Further movement by the Fed QE you name the number will be like pissing in the ocean for all the good it will do. Europe is a basket case and won’t pick up any slack regarding US exports. Krugman has been right all along, it’s really a depression and until we see massive intervention to spark demand nothing good is going to come of the situation. Of course the Republicans won’t have any answers other than lower taxes and ending all regulation as if that is some magic elixir that will spark massive job growth. The schadenfreude part of me wishes that they were in control and we would quickly see how things would get a lot worse.

  18. DrungoHazewood says:

    until we see massive intervention


  19. rktbrkr says:

    Krugman has been right all along, it’s really a depression and until we see massive intervention to spark demand nothing good is going to come of the situation. Of course the Republicans won’t have any answers other than lower taxes and ending all regulation as if that is some magic elixir that will spark massive job growth.

    Time for Mutt for FIRE people, tough love! Restore Bush tax cuts, rename them Romney cuts, end extended unemployment, cut back on medicare & Soc Sec,attack Iran as promised, then follow up and suspend all Soc Sec disability benefits while recipients attempt to requalify. Blame resulting depression on O’Bama.

  20. W T F says:

    Interesting to overlay the Monthly Employment Change chart with the chart of gas prices (see gasbuddy). Gas prices go up – employment drops. Gas prices go down – employment increases.

    RBOB gas futures are forecasting continued drops in gas prices through the summer:

    Lower gas prices lead to more consumer discretionary spending leads to more orders leads to more job hires leads to lower unemployment.

    I expect the June Employment Situation report to show unemployment at 8.2% and then start falling from there.

  21. bear_in_mind says:

    @Barry: Revisions down; hrs worked down; and non-seasonally-adjusted temp workers down (three consecutive months). U6 up by .3. Not a “disaster” but sure feels like employment re-entered a pit of quicksand.

    @Paul S: Sorry to hear of your plight on the UE line. So much potential skill (like yours) sitting idle on the sidelines is the real tragedy of this Depression. We could be wisely investing in the future by rebuilding the infrastructure of this country, but instead, we’re using our ‘seed corn’ to bail-out gamblers and sociopaths on Wall Street. Never thought we’d return to the Robber Baron era, but Santayana nailed the nature the human beast.

    @WTF: Think you’re premise has some merit, but too insular a measure. It totally misses the global macro picture. Might wanna take a peek at this awesome graphic “Long Way Down” from Mebane Faber to get a sense of the Big Picture:

  22. bear_in_mind says:

    @Winston Munn: “The new American business model: hire short; fire long.” Beautifully stated!