Free Markets, Free People

Economic Statistics for 9 Mar 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The Employment Situation: 227,000 net new jobs, unemployment rate at 8.3%, average hourly earning up 0.1%, weekly hours unchanged. Basically, the report is mixed. The labor force participation rate rose by 0.2% to 63.6%, so more people are coming back to the labor force. The number of employed people in the household survey has risen back to the December level, after dropping last month. Non-farm payrolls continue to increase. At the same time, hourly earnings and hours are basically unchanged, so there’s not a lot of hiring pressure. Using the personal methodology I use, that assumes full employment is a 66.2% labor force participation rate, the "real" rate of unemployment declined to 12.08% from last month’s 12.48%.

The Monster Employment Index jumped 10 points in February to 143. Monster says this reflects a normal seasonal bump.

The January trade deficit grew by $2 billion to $52.6 billion, mainly due to rising oil prices.

Wholesale trade inventories grew by 0.4%, but the stock-to-sales ratio is unchanged at 1.15.

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Dale Franks
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7 Responses to Economic Statistics for 9 Mar 12

  • I know these posts don’t get a lot comments, so I just wanted to thank you for posting them. Its great to have a mini-synopsis on the stats.

    On a side note, I’d also caution people who are pooh-poohing the recovery to watch out for political bias. I don’t mean the obvious media bias, but the bias on our side that assumes we are not having some kind of recovery. The economy is like the body – it heals itself. Its entirely possible to have a recovery DESPITE Obama. So consider that when making economic decisions.

    • @Harun After last weeks CNN propaganda about how the stock market was comfortable with Obama being re-elected, and that’s why it went up, and then the drop this week….I’m assuming damn near every number I see is manufactured until it’s a couple weeks old and hasn’t been readjusted due to ‘unexpected’ changes.

      • @looker …and I am saying that we could be having a real “partial recovery.” And I’d also say if we increase taxes we could dip right back down like FDR managed to do. But I am agnostic on the recovery – I’m not dancing for joy or planning to vote Obama.

  • Yes, Dale, thanks for this series of posts. Even the labor force participation rate is only half good news: it’s lower than the 64% for most of last year. Under Red Queen Obama, the economy is all about working twice as hard just to get back to where you were.