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.