Free Markets, Free People

Jobless numbers down to 8.1% but almost no one believes it (Updated)

A quickie as I have a busy morning that doesn’t include much blogging:

The April jobs report is a miss!

There were just 115K new jobs created in April. That’s well below the 160K that was expected.

But unemployment rate fell from 8.2% to 8.1% and last month was revised from a gain of 121K to 166K.

So it was a disappointment, but not a catastrophe due to the revisions.

Other key numbers:

  • The underemployment rate has stayed flat at 14.5%
  • No improvement in weekly hours.
  • Average hourly earnings grew 0.2% month over month.
  • The labor force participation rate has fallen to 63.6%, the lowest level since 1981.

I’m sure Dale will have more with his daily econ stats.  Note how bad the underlying numbers are in the 4 bullet points.  The weakness continues and continues to build.


Twitter: @McQandO

UPDATE (Dale): I just need to offer a little correction to the quoted data above. Hourly earnings did not increase by 0.2%. Hourly earnings increased from $23.37 to $23.38. the 0.2% increase was the over-the-month percent change to the index of aggregate weekly payrolls, which is not the same thing as hourly earnings.

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14 Responses to Jobless numbers down to 8.1% but almost no one believes it (Updated)

  • I haven’t been reading your blog lately because you’ve fallen into the predictable mindless partisan mean-spirited BS that the out of touch blogs of the far right have sunk into — none of the creative ‘neo-libertarian’ ideas that made your blog more interesting in the past.  I can get what you dish out anywhere, it’s become boring (and it’s also becoming obsolete — your time has past).  But it’s hilarious that as the economy slowly recovers after thirty years of imbalances and things slowly improve you’re grunting about ‘no one believing it’ and trying to say things are all bad.  It’s like you’re rooting against the economy!  Hilarious!  I have a feeling that the this election cycle is going to be very painful for you.   Live well!    Don’t take politics too seriously, it’s only a small part of life!

    • Well, THAT‘s the most delusional little rant I’ve read in a long time.
      No one with a nodding acquaintance with sanity believes ANYTHING is improving because it isn’t.  I has nothing to do with “rooting”.  It has to do with reality.
      Your “narrative is not persuasive” BS seems utterly bizarre here, because we don’t live by “narratives”.
      But we know that your Collective DOES, especially the sick man-child in charge.  He creates whole people for his own biography narrative.  But…over the last several months…everything he’s tried has failed.  It will get worse.
      #Julia, over and out…

    • Factoring in those discouraged adults and others working part time for lack of full time opportunities, the unemployment rate is about 14.5 percent. Adding college graduates in low-skill positions, like counterwork at Starbucks, and the unemployment rate is likely closer to 18 percent.
      Prospects for lowering those dreadful statistics remain slim. The economy must add 13.3 million jobs over the next three years — 370,000 each month — to bring unemployment down to 6 percent.
      Growth in the range of 4-5 percent is needed to get unemployment down to 6 percent over the next several years. In 2011, the economy grew at about 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter but that is expected to slow to 2.5 percent in 2012.

      “The unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point since August to a three-year low. But last month’s decline was not due to job growth. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively looking for work.
      “In April, the percentage of adults working or looking for work fell to the lowest level in more than 30 years.”
      So if you add back all the people who have stopped looking for work you get a “real” unemployment rate of almost 15 percent.

      It’s reassuring that Mr. Obama and Sheriff Joe have made JOBS their 1st priority.

    • Don’t take politics too seriously, it’s only a small part of life!
      Says the man:
      1. Who is a political “scientist”
      2. Has tenure and is largely unaffected by the vagaries of politics
      3. Does not have to decide anything affecting other peoples’ employment due to the vagaries of politics
      4. Does not have an income that depends on the vagaries of politics
      5. Does not… well you get the picture…
      6. Does spend tax-payers’ money on jaunts to Italy… OK that may be a bit vague due to politics at the Staff Club if he gets plastered and makes a pass at the Dean’s son.

      • but he does advocate policies that make other people’s lives & income depend on the vagaries of politics.

        • consequences are for the little people… big thinkers like our beloved prof deal with such weighty matters that they need to be protected from mere mortal considerations to have time to come up with other peoples’ ideas.

    • So the economy report is posted, and it’s pretty negative, and you drive by and say the economy is “recovering”


      I mean I know you’re an idiot but this is weak tea, even by your standards. It’s a verbose version of “Nyah Nyah nyah nyah”

      Reality will hold many nasty suprises for you down the road.

    • Hey Prof, when your adjective-to-noun ration exceeds 500% you should probably consider learning how to write proper. Think of your twits, errr, students who can only concentrate on 140 characters at a time.
      By the way, you are supposed to tell us to be “forward” this year. Keep up with the program, or Obama might stop heeding your meaty advice that you post mere weeks after the Big O speaks.

    • ah, well, see ya sparky, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.  Your personal delusions of Obama’s grandeur won’t be missed much.  And when I want to come gloat after November, well, we know where your blog is, and it’ll be worth giving you the traffic that day.

    • “as the economy slowly recovers after thirty years of imbalances”
      LOL. The economy is doing what it always does when it is given a chance; the same thing it has been doing for quite a while longer than those thirty years, even during the Great Depression.  Of course it would ‘recover’ a bit faster with a little less meddling from your friends.

    • Well, things are getting better, at a painfully slow pace. If we had not had a mindless rage against capitalism, profits, and fiscal sanity in the last three years no doubt we would be in much better shape right now, at least we would have had a third less debt.

  • This is what a stagnant economy looks like.  The gain of 115,000 jobs is less than enough to keep up with population increases, and was below the median economic forecast for April.  The only reason that the unemployment rate “fell” to 8.1% is because the labor force participation rate keeps dropping.  If you stop looking for work, you aren’t unemployed.  But you’re not employed either.  You’re just “missing.”  You don’t count.
    Welcome to the country we now live in:  the Stag-Nation.

  • I just want to come by here and post a comment to tell you that I’m not reading this blog and I’m too good to comment here.  And, I’m purposely going to ignore you and only read blogs which agree with my preconceived political beliefs because I think you guys are in a bubble, ignoring others who disagree with your preconceived political beliefs.
    Oh, and you guys are immature, nanny nanny boo boo!