Sunday, May 05, 2013


Employment Numbers Improving, Or Not...

Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics released seemingly encouraging numbers.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 165,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 7.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care.
The stock market reacted positively. But, the stock market runs as much on psychological factors as solid financial information. The government unemployment numbers are groomed to give a positive a picture as "reasonably" possible. Some think that employment still has a lot of improving to do.

James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute points out that "the report contained worrisome signs that President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment."
While the American economy added 293,000 jobs last month, according to the separate household survey, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons — “involuntary part-time workers” as the Labor Department calls them – increased by almost as much, by 278,000 to 7.9 million. These folks were working part time because a) their hours had been cut back or b) they were unable to find a full-time job. At the same time, the U-6 unemployment rate — a broader measure of joblessness that includes discouraged workers and part-timers who want a full-time gig – rose from 13.8% to 13.9%.
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