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2009-04-03 09:00 by Karl Denninger
in Macro Factors Ignore this thread
Unemployment Friday

Heh, what's up with this data series?

U-6 March 16.2 .vs. 16.0.  Well, the rate of deterioration slowed. 

That's about the only good thing I can find in there.

The "headline" number is 8.5%, but the real number continues to be north of 16%, although the rate of change has slowed significantly, but on a seasonal adjustment basis it decayed more (seasonal adjusted numbers went from 14.8 > 15.6)

Government lost jobs last month - that's new, and I assume all in state and local jobs.

The real news however was revisions - about 100,000 jobs added to the reported numbers.  That is, there is a systematic underreporting going on here (gee, I wonder why); this is the third straight month of nearly 18% underreporting of the unemployed....

Hours worked also dropped slightly, by one tenth of an hour, an indicator of slacking labor demand.

The other horrifying news in the internals of the report was an increase of 423,000 people who went from full-time to part-time work for "economic reasons" (read: involuntarily); this now stands at 9 million workers.  This of course means their purchasing power is dramatically cut but they do not get unemployment; ergo, you really need to add those people into the "official" statistics if you're looking at the impact on the economy.  This puts the "purchasing power loss" at roughly 1 million consumers last month.

Remember, employment is a lagging indicator and thus tells us essentially nothing about the future, but this report is clearly bad and continuing to deteriorate.