Friday, May 7, 2010

Job growth beginning to take off

The Department of Labor released its April jobs report this morning with mostly good news. According to the report, employment, as recorded in the household and establishment surveys, was up sharply last month. The household survey indicates that the number of employed people increased by 550,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, while the preliminary establishment figures indicate that the number of jobs increased by 290,000. Establishment figures for February and March were also revised upward. The March figures now indicate that 230,000 jobs were added that month rather than the 162,000 that were originally estimated.

Job growth in April was spread across nearly all sectors of the economy. Employment in manufacturing, services, and government were all up. The only major sector to see a decline was transportation and warehousing (a potential dark cloud for the logistics-heavy Greensboro economy).

Unemployment edged up to 9.7 percent, but this mainly reflected an incredible 805,000 people entering or reentering the labor force. The number of people who were unemployed because they lost jobs was down, while the numbers of people who were unemployed because they left jobs, reentered the work force, or were new entrants each rose. Overall, the percentage of the population that was employed rose to 58.8 percent, the highest percentage since August of last year.

It's not at all certain that this level of job growth will continue. The debt crisis in Greece is showing signs of spreading to other countries and provoking a wider financial crisis.

Two months of moderate job recovery, which have restored more than half a million jobs to the U.S. economy, are good news. Still, it will take another two and a half years at this pace to recover the 8 million or so jobs that were lost since the end of 2007. Let's hope for even better news.

2 comments:

jon said...

"Job growth beginning to take off"

Dave,
Gimme a break, quit being a liberal cheerleader for government spending. It's especially unseemly given your profession.

How about Titleing this post: "Unemployment rises to 9.9%"

Conservative media has been pointing out for months that the job numbers posted by the feds were not taking into account all the people that had quit applying for unemployment or looking for work, so why should you be astounded at number of people entering the job market? Also the rate of job growth in the Federal government is oustripping the private sector, and the state and local government sectors as they must practice more fiscal responsibility. (Can't Print Money)
How about pointing out that 66,000 jobs are temporary census jobs. The only thing you didn't slant was that it's uncertain whether the job growth is sustainable.

From Heritage "The Foundry" Mar 26 2010"
"A few weeks ago, I posted that CBO’s estimate that the stimulus created saved 1.5 million jobs was not based on any actual examination of the post-stimulus economy. Instead, CBO essentially re-released their initial prediction that the stimulus would work, and presented that as proof that it did work.

This is like a weather forecaster saying that the high yesterday was 65 degrees, because that is what had been predicted — even though it actually never topped 50 degrees.
Now, CBO director Doug Elmendorf has finally conceded that they never actual examined this stimulus bills’ affect on the economy. Responding to a questioner following a recent speech, he admitted that the CBO’s jobs count was “essentially repeating the same exercise” as their initial projections. When asked if this means their jobs projections would have ignored any failures of stimulus spending to perform as CBO predicted, Mr. Elmendorf responded “that’s right.” (Exchange begins at 38:20.)

CBO never actually counted the jobs. Nor did their analysis take into account the rising unemployment rate. Or the economic figures. Or how effectively the money was spent. They merely assumed this government spending “must have” saved 1.5 million jobs." In other words: WE WERE FAKING IT!!

From Heritage Morning Bell Today:
"The White House may tout Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports showing their $862 billion stimulus created jobs, but the CBO has also admitted(see above quote) their computer simulation didn't take any actual new real world data into account. To the contrary, an independent study of real world stimulus facts found: 1) no statistical correlation between unemployment and how the $862 billion was spent; 2) that Democratic districts received one-and-a-half times as many awards as Republican ones; and 3) an average cost of $286,000 was awarded per job created. $286,000 per job created."

Dave Ribar said...

Jon:

The private sector contributed 231,000 of the estimated 290,000 jobs that were created last month. The private sector also created 174,000 of the 230,000 jobs that were added in the month before. Growth occurred in nearly every industrial sector.

If you go back over my posts on the monthly jobs reports, you'll see that they rarely emphasize the unemployment rate. They tend to focus more on job losses and job creation and on the employment to population ratio.