Friday, May 6, 2016

April jobs report: more of the same

The April jobs report was weaker than expected (160K vs. 200K), but from a big-picture perspective it was no different than what we've been seeing for the past several years. Private sector jobs—the ones that count—have been growing a little more than 2% per year since mid-2011. Add some meager productivity to that number, and it's reasonable to assume that the economy is still growing at a 2 - 2 ½% annual pace. In other words, the weakest recovery in modern times continues.

As the charts above show, April's "weak" jobs growth was par for the course. The jobs number is naturally volatile from month to month. So it's best to look at the change over several months or even a year. On a year over year basis, private sector jobs rose 2.2%; over the past six months, they are up at a 2.1% rate, which is about what they have averaged since mid-2011. Nothing much has changed.

What has changed is the growth of the labor force, which has picked up of late. That explains why the unemployment rate has stopped declining: on the margin, more people are deciding they want to work. This is a positive development.

It's also encouraging that the growth of public sector jobs has on balance been zero for almost 10 years. The physical size of the public sector has been shrinking relative to the private sector, and that makes it easier for private initiative to take root.

In any event, what this means is that the weak GDP growth numbers of the past two quarters are an anomaly that should be reversed via higher numbers over the remainder of this year.


Benjamin Cole said...

Let's hope for stronger growth. Trump just indicated one idea is to default on US debt.

Wait until Trump learns about QE. He knows about bankruptcy but not about printing money in exchange for federal IOUs.

Anyway we all owe debts to Don Trump--- he has been the best and free entertainment in many a year.

Election 2016: The Greatest Show on Earth

marcusbalbus said...

we all demand more QE

McKibbinUSA said...

Let's face it, the establishment Republicans and Democrats are both devoted to lowering real working wages and the employment to population ratio in the US -- the simple truth is that these establishment people do not care in the least about real wages and employment -- I would go so far as to say that the establishment people are fully prepared to inflict (and even enjoy) the arrival of the four horseman of the apocalypse rather than see real working wages or the employment to population ratio rise dramatically -- Trump is the medicine that the establishment will be forced to choke down -- from where I sit, many in the establishment may eventually be tried and found guilty of treason -- watch for public hangings before this is over -- thank God we have Trump!

PS: An abrupt end to deficit spending, negative trade deficits, and the permanent unreimbursed stationing of US troops overseas is the future -- only Trump has the moxie (force of character, determination, and nerve) to make these changes happen -- whatever suffering we as a society must endure to see economic change happen in the US will be well worth it for future generations.

McKibbinUSA said...

PPS: I read that manufacturers are studying how to ramp up "dumb" mobile phone manufacturing capacity in the US anticipating a consumer electronics embargo to be imposed by the US on Asia -- embargos on energy, automobiles, and clothing could also be imposed simultaneously resulting sharp increases for domestic natural gas, automobile manufacturing, and apparel jobs -- finally, the US Navy could easily enforce all of these embargos using whatever means necessary...

Benjamin Cole said...

William M--
I disagree with some of your views, but the GOP establishment reaction to Don Trump is remarkable.

And why? Ryan says Trump does not respect the Constitution. Huh?

Yet Trump demolished the entire GOP establishment and punditry single-handedly.


McKibbinUSA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McKibbinUSA said...

Regardless of whether Trump becomes President, there's no looking back for the GOP -- far from it...

Hans said...

The last chart is remarkable and especially that it
received no comments.

We have 1 governmental unit revenue extractors for every five private producing
worker bees.

A drag on the country and it's economy?

"Yet Trump demolished the entire GOP establishment and punditry single-handedly."

Yes, he did, Ben Jamin. Now is the time to haul the rubbish and debris away.
The Trumpter is after all in the construction and development business.

Just avoid any firms or individuals with the name of Ryan, Cantor or Banehner,
if you want quality work.

Hans said...

Hear in Minnefornia, there are five distinctive GUs,
leveling property taxes.

For the current calendar year, the aggregate increase
came to 5.3%; almost triple the rate of inflation!!

A spokesperson said, they are doing the best to meet
or exceed the FRB's targeted inflation goals.

Anonymous said...

well said Mr. Trump:

Frozen in the North said...

I have no real skin in the game, aside from being, like you all, a resident of planet earth. What is fascinating by the support for Trump is "what the hell are you supporting anyway". I didn't like Cruz one bit - with Cruz a theocracy was a real possibility, God's will in the affaires of've to to be joking. I think God has more important things to think about -- like "why do Republicans think that my son was a white guy? Come on, first he was a Jew, and he lived in Palestine (not splitting hair here -- Israel was founded 2000 years after than man died!) there were very few blue eyed blond boys in that region of the world... (Sorry CBP I know you were a fan of Cruz).

Trump is another problem entirely, because he says contradictory statements almost every day, on Sunday "we can default on the debt" on Monday its "We just print more of it anyway" -- clearly not familiar with the whole QE concept that's been going on for nearly eight years.

My question to you Republicans" Who is Donald Trump, and what is his running platform? Because from up here in Canada -- we find it hard to keep track... and honestly we listen with one ear.

Benjamin Cole said...

Frozen: Trump is erratic. I guess the GOP was a Potemkin Village, so easily did Trump destroy the town.

Paul Ryan's head may be on the voter's chopping block....

The election awaits....

Hans said...

" The head of Maersk, the world's largest shipping company, has granted an interview with Bloomberg where he blames easy monetary conditions for preventing necessary consolidation in the industry, thus depressing prices. One would assume the various members of the PhD community within policy-making circles would simply suggest that he is using the wrong model."


Hans said...

Hear is what Ben Jamin has been articulating about zoning costs
and GUs regulations.

These cost are serious and becoming a burden for both the builder and
final consumer. It has serious impact on both production and employment.

It is good "business" for the governmental unit industry, however.

Hans said...

How can you tell if you are sitting next to an economist
on an airplane. Very funny, indeed!

Frozen in the North said...


Years ago doing my MSc in Economics at the London School of Economics (just so you know we can take a joke), there was an add in the Economist magazine for a one handed economist (I think it was from Lagos or Nigeria), story was that the President of the relevant country was tired of hearing his economist saying 'on the one hand..."

I swear I am not making this up, we are talking 1983/84 thereabout. The add made the round of the school as you may imagine!

Benjamin Cole said...

Hans: Property zoning is destroying the West Coast and free enterprise. Everyone is a pinko-socialist extraordinaire, when it comes to their own neighborhood.

Hans said...

Dudley's inane comments on currencies?!?!

<3 min video; Another Gosbank'S Hall of Fame member.

Frozen, I just blew coffee out of my nose and mouth!! (wife is now rushing
to my side to provide aid and comfort, but laughing as well, stating I am one
handed when it comes to the honey do list)

I am pleased and honored to have a poster with such a distinguished
educational background. I will focus and re-digest your posts as time
and physics permits.

Ban Jamin, I am afraid your assessment is correct; a small price
for the yoke of GUs, is all one pays.

It is comforting to know, that now HUD will be regulating both RVs
and campers for the leisure class, despite the fact they are not
used in an urban environment.

I am sure that the Department of Agriculture and Fannie and Freddie
are not far behind, to get their share of the regulatory cut.

Hans said...

Even the EPA is getting into the zoning of property

Unleash the power of these Stalincrats.

BTW, Ben Jamin, I was amazed by the high cost
of regulator control of the housing industry.

It is beyond shocking but it does provide more stock
for section eight housing and staffing for the implementing agencies.

Benjamin Cole said...

Hans: I am against socialistic engineering, but I am for extensive property zoning and the mortgage interest tax deduction!

Go Donks and GOP!

Hans said...

"I am against socialistic engineering, but I am for extensive property zoning and the mortgage interest tax deduction!"

Ben Jamin, is that not a contradiction? Both of which are state engineering
at it's worse.

BTW, I would support neither of the two aforementioned items. The FRS does
a supreme job zoning interest rates as well.

Benjamin Cole said...


The question today is, "Is the Fed holding down interest rates, or propping rates up?"

Yes, I was speaking facetiously. Any type of property zoning or stipulations are socialism, and the mortgage interest tax education is social engineering. And has helped create a debt-ridden society.

Lawyer in NJ said...


Is there no such thing as a public purpose or public interest in your opinion? Can't a municipality reasonably decide that a given area is residential/commercial/etc.? Or that lots must be a given size to build a house? Or that a right of way must be maintained?

Hans said...

Ben Jamin, good to hear your positive response.

We are replacing common sense and practicality with the iron
fist of mandarins.

My "community" mayor was critical of Whole Foods new building
design, as it ran the entire length at the same height.

The idiot wanted it tiered so it was more pleasing to the eye!!

What important public purpose and interest did this municipality
official serve with his design reconstruction request!

Both the architecture and Whole Foods representatives were completely
annoyed by this petty and meaningless demand.

I sat in the present of da mayor and his council minions, wondering
that they have little else to do.

He also demanded and receive a public sidewalk paid by Whole Foods and
a set of traffic lights on a joining street, because the councilwomen
suggested much more foot traffic. She was dead wong and the lights were
never installed.

Yes indeed, your local social council have become nothing more than
micro-managers because they know better you.