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2018-06-01 09:06 by Karl Denninger
in Employment , 237 references
[Comments enabled]  

Screams the Bureau of Lies and Scams....

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in May, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in several industries, including retail trade, health care, and construction.

Eh, this isn't anywhere near as good as you think it is.

The unadjusted May number is +661.  For context this is pretty much right up the middle for a May; last year was an outlier in that it was only +145, but the previous year was +519, before that was +762, prior to that was +631, etc.


The truth of this figure is shown here; the blue is month-by-month but the red is your annualized figure -- and it's not particularly impressive.  Of course Trump wants to make hay about it, which is not surprising.

But let's the cut the crap; the not-in-labor-force number stands at 95,689 (that's 95.7 million) and that figure as a percentage of the workforce hasn't come down at all.


In numerical terms it continues to rise, but before you say "but there are more people" the correct view is how this works out in percentage terms.  In other words are people coming back into the workforce  or not?  The answer is clearly no; there has been exactly zero movement downward in that NILF percentage since Trump's election and in fact there has been no material change since 2015; it has all been the usual seasonal wobble and nothing more in either direction.

Of course Cramer keeps saying "oh it's all very strong."  Uh, no it's not.  Strength is defined by the people who can work and are in the labor force actually working.  Getting a 3.9% unemployment rate by having 96 million people giving up  and the not-in-labor force number at historic highs, refusing to move downward is not a "strong labor market."

To claim otherwise is fake news.


The internals are even worse.  

I have long written about all of the "job growth" since 2008 being McJobs.  This month that "expansion" was truly outrageous; the employment participation rate rose an astounding eight ticks for those with less than a high school diploma (the very definition of "unskilled"), five ticks for those with a diploma only, it was down two ticks for those with an associates (in other words net-net an associates degree actually had negative value) and utterly flat (less than one tick movement) for those with a bachelors or better (which makes that a negative value too, especially considering it's $100k+ cost nowdays!)

These "created" jobs are, in short, statistically all sub-$20/hour positions.

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