The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Employment]
2015-04-03 08:01 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 409 references
 

Oh boy...

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 126,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade, while mining lost jobs.

That doesn't sound good.

Let's look at the internal data from the household survey.

The gross job gain for the month was 517,000.  This sounds good, but one must look at annualized rates to get an honest picture, and there we have a problem.  The annual change (this month .vs. same last year) is +2.545 million, which is the lowest gain on that basis since last September.

Adjusted for population the figure was a loss of 277,000 annualized, and of that only 76,000 were people leaving the workforce.  In other words it is all real job loss.

This doesn't look so bad, right?  Well......

There it is -- on a population-corrected basis the spike higher that gave hope is gone.  One month a trend does not make, but this is not at all encouraging as it is a trend break going back to September.

The employment:population ratio, however, ticked up one tenth on an unadjusted basis.  Nonetheless this long-term trend indicator is not showing any material sign of life, and as I have often observed it is this figure more than any other that predicts the intermediate and longer-term capacity of government to fund itself via taxation.

If you want this report summarized short and sweet, in other words, here it is:

smiley

 

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