Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November, and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care.
Revisions were huge, particularly in government employment. That the BLS (government) can't count government employees is rather amusing...... how do you spell "Bee ESS!"
The unemployment rate was reported at 7.7 and the workweek was unchanged.
Let's look at the household data.
Oh wait a second... ah, here's the truth (and it's not good.)
The working-age population went from 243,983 to 244,174 (thousands), an increase of 191,000 working-age people. But the total number of employed people fell from 144,039 (thosuands) to 143,549, a loss of 490,000 actual employed people!
The spread is even worse, of course -- closer to 3/4 of a million workers, because you must account for the population increase as well.
The downward hook is clearly visible in the trends chart -- while the annualized rate is still positive it is now degrading.
The actual number of employed people in the household survey fell, not rose.
Not-in-labor force rose by over 1 million, from 88,204,000 to 89,221,000! Eek! Yes, this number is noisy on a monthly basis. Nonetheless it is what it is.
The employment rate declined to 58.8%, a two-tick downward move from 59.0. The hope for a breakout higher is now in serious doubt.
Yes, we are screwed folks -- we not only failed to cross above the zero line we're now headed southbound again. The best you can hope for is that this is a shelf -- and not the precursor to a cliff-dive in the next few months.
The robots trading futures, however, simply read headlines.
You'd be wise to "rise above" (or is that "read below".)
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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