Free Markets, Free People


Bad job numbers

I’m sure they’re “unexpected”:

Private-sector employment growth decelerated sharply in May, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s employment report released Wednesday, in another possible sign of a sputtering U.S. recovery.

Employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose a seasonally adjusted 38,000 in May, well below the 175,000 increase expected by economists. In April, private payrolls showed an increase of 177,000, ADP said.

“This is exceptionally weak,” said Eric Green, chief market economist at TD Securities Inc. in New York.

“This was a dismal report, indicating a significant slowdown in job creation after six months of solid gains,” said Nicholas Tenev, economist at Barclays Capital Research.

“Sold gains?”  Yeah, not so much.  We’ve yet to hit the threshold of job creation – about 300,000 or so – necessary to tread water, much less be adding jobs.  The gains we’ve seen in the past six months have been “positive” in that there were net jobs created, but 38,000 is about 10% of what we need  per month to begin to chip away at unemployment.

The government will report its version of the numbers on Friday (the above is the ADP report):

On Friday, the government will report on U.S. nonfarm payrolls for May, data that also include government workers.

Economists polled by MarketWatch are looking for a gain of 175,000 in payrolls and for the nation’s unemployment rate to tick lower to 8.9% from 9.0% in April.

That would mark a slowdown from the healthy 244,000 jobs added in April.

It would also tell us that there is no real slowdown in hiring government workers, wouldn’t it – you know, despite “budget woes”, etc.  And note too that we again, despite “a dismal report”, see economists saying the unemployment rate will “tick lower” to 8.9%?  Yup, the Ministry of Truth is available to feed you whatever data you want to believe (which may explain why “improvements” in the unemployment rate don’t seem to boost consumer confidence at all).  Again, not being at the “tread water” level with job creation, you have to wonder how the calculations are figured and what is being considered and not considered to anticipate the unemployment rate coming down in the face of “a dismal report”. 

Dale has covered the real numbers for quite some time – well into double digits.  But there is indeed a larger question out there – is the workforce actually shrinking and the old norms no longer the standard by which we should measure unemployment.  I.e. are older workers looking at the job market and saying, “to heck with it, I can retire and I’m going too”?

Don’t know for sure, but regardless, the numbers from ADP remain “dismal” for May.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Print
  • Google Bookmarks

16 Responses to Bad job numbers

  • One figure you can look at is the massive surge in applications for disability coverage for those not old enough to be eligible for social security.
    Older workers who were working even with chronic injuries because they could still find jobs which paid more than going on disability now are being laid off with little if any hope for ever being employed again.  Thus they are biting the bullet and applying for disability even if it pays less than they were getting from working.

  • “Unexpected”  let’s see, we’re coming on to the 3rd year of “unexpected”.

    And the government’s picture will be rosy, to be adjusted down 2 months from now in the middle of the next quarter to reality while they think no one is looking.

    if only we had to do a census this year, or maybe McDonalds will hire.  I know, Obama’s ‘grass roots’ campaign can hire all these people.  Maybe Debbie Wasserman Schulz can explain again why we NEED those 12 million ILLEGAL immigrants to keep our booming economy booming.

    RECOVERY SUMMER II is in the offing!

    • The unexpected will bite them in the ass. You see, they should have said “its expected after the major damage Bush did”
      and then there would be less of a problem…except that Obama talking down our economy doesn’t work too well either.

      • The word has now reached the “I don’t think it means what you think it means” level.

        Unexpectedly – if I used it the way they did I would be able to regularly, and credibly say things like -
        I jumped off the top of a 25 story building, and unexpectedly fell to the ground.
        I unexpectedly did not win the lottery again yesterday.
        I unexpectedly was not appointed Pope of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

         

  • Even if the smaller work force is being pushed by baby boomers going into retirement it still represents a helluva economic headwind.  The US is headed for a demographics problem on the age/employment front.  Fewer and fewer workers supporting a bigger and bloated government.

    • The Death Panels will arrive like the cavalry to save us!

      uh….let me think about that, I’ll get back to you.

  • Jobs are bad and,,,,,, they are throwing money out the door like we have plenty of it.
    “WASHINGTON – The Obama administration said Wednesday that the government will lose about $14 billion in taxpayer funds from the bailout of the U.S. auto industry, a third of the loss officials had initially estimated.”
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110601/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_autos
    Jimmy Carter loves this guy.

     

  • McQ[T]he Ministry of Truth is available to feed you whatever data you want to believe (which may explain why “improvements” in the unemployment rate don’t seem to boost consumer confidence at all).

    In my view, a democracy only works when the people – who are the ultimate governing body – are properly informed.  Quite aside from the fact that our wonderful government-run education system has produced a nation of morons who CAN’T understand a simple news story, our media is so politically biased that it’s difficult to learn what the facts are.*    They wave numbers at us without context (and, perhaps, without factual reality) and claim that they are “hopeful” or “worrisome”, the adjectives selected depending on who is in the White House or in control of Congress.  I think we know how this month’s numbers would be reported if Yosemite Sam was in office instead of Captain Bullsh*t…

    McQ[T]here is indeed a larger question out there – is the workforce actually shrinking and the old norms no longer the standard by which we should measure unemployment.  I.e. are older workers looking at the job market and saying, “to heck with it, I can retire and I’m going too”?

    Perhaps I’m being a worry-wort (we’ve had prolonged high unemployment before without destroying the country), but I’ve heard and read the theory that this level of unemployment may become structural, i.e. a significant fraction of our people will become chronically unemployed and unemployable: they will be permanently locked out of the job market due to low / no job skills or experience, and it will actually be financially more advantageous for them to live on the dole, perhaps picking up some extra cash here and there under the table.  This will actually work against bringing people permanently into the work force: like the problem with hiring illegal aliens under the table, it will be advantageous for employers to hire people on a short-term, cash-only basis to avoid having to pay various taxes and fees, as well as dealing with the new health care regulations.

    To me, it adds up to a pretty grim picture of the future: a bloated, non-productive government class coupled with a huge mass of permanent “wards of the state”, all sucking off a steadily shrinking number of people who actually work for a living.

    —-

    (*) On a related note, I often wonder about our vets.  I am so suspicious about MiniTru’s bias that I tend to discard out of hand anything about how vets, especially from Iraq and A-stan, have various mental health issues.  Is this MiniTru / Hollywood beating the “the war is bad, Bush was bad to get us into it, blah-blah-blah”, or is there a real problem here that should be addressed?

  • Effect follows cause.
    Shaa-aaaaa-zam…!
    Also, consumer confidence is down…having never really be up to levels consistent with recovery.
    Unexpectedly.  There is a macro key on all jourolist’s keyboards for that term.

  • What is far more important than marginal changes in total employment and unemployment rates is their effect on the electorate. They aren’t paying attention? Hardly one in a hundred know the terms U3 and U6. That not their yob. They DO pay attention to other people – family, friends, acquaintances, community. They see lots of hurt and pain. Some improvement in the numbers will be ignored. Things are in the shitter. It’s kick ass and take names time. The names? Meh.

  • I sold off my stocks today. I will wait for the recession to hit or QE3 to start to re-enter.

  • It would also tell us that there is no real slowdown in hiring government workers, wouldn’t it –

    Where do you see an expansion of government hiring?
    Anyway, around my town, there’s lots of demand for commission-only sales, collections, and part-time work.

    • The difference between the ADP numbers and the soon to be published government numbers.

      • No..where in govt? State ? Federal? What about that pregnant gal who was laid off at the National Zoo?

        • Read the ADP link. They make it clear that the upcoming government numbers will include “government employment” which their numbers don’t include.

michael kors outlet michael kors handbags outlet michael kors factory outlet