Growth in U.S. Employment Slowing

As a matter of follow-up to this morning’s post about the March employment report, in which the addition of 162,000 jobs was hailed as a turning point for the economy in spite of unemployment holding steady at 9.7%, there’s a darker side buried in the report that has received short shrift. 

After falling to a low of 137,792,000 in December, the employment level in the U.S. has now risen for three straight months.  That’s good news, but there’s a trend developing that suggests that the news may be short-lived.  The following is the month-by-month growth in the empl0yment level since December:

  • January – 541,000
  • February – 308,000
  • March – 264,000

And, again, 48,000 of those jobs in March were Census jobs that will be eliminated in June.  After making a nice pop in January, the rise in employment level is petering out.  If this trend persists, we could see the employment level resume its decline as early as June. 

Those who are counting on a brightening jobs picture to stoke the economy might want to hold off on popping the champagne corks just a little longer.

(Here’s the data:)

Unemployment Calculation

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3 Responses to Growth in U.S. Employment Slowing

  1. mtnmike says:

    Pete,

    Good information on the employment trend line.

    To change the direction of any economic downturn (or upturn)there has to be a fundamental shift in our basis for employment that counters the previous trend. Injecting borrowed money into the banking system does not constitute fundamental change.

    The basis for employment in the United States has in no way been altered from our inflation based bubble to bubble past. Temporary government provided jobs can be viewed as a short term bubble; clearly because the basis is unsustainable.

    It has been my opinion for some time that we have reached employment zenith for a service and information economy that has been denuded of its past manufacturing and broad based agriculture underpinnings.

    • Pete Murphy says:

      Just as an example of what you’re saying, that nothing has fundamentally changed, I heard this morning that a new rule that prevented FHA borrowerers from “flipping” houses has now been suspended in an effort to get the housing market going again. I guess the government has concluded that we just need to re-inflate some bubbles.

  2. mtnmike says:

    Pete,

    I suppose that “any port in a storm,” has become the rule of the day. The present system of mortgage auctions precludes individuals (those who actually need a home) from participating in most instances which drives the auction price down to unrealistic levels.

    Here in Colorado, the auction is at 10:AM and the full payment is due by 2:PM the same day! Often times the properties are not open to inspection prior to the auction. Therefore, only wealthy investors with cash or those with extensive lines of credit are able to participate.

    The so called “investors,” then do a little fix up and resell on the conventional market. I just read a story about one investor who has netter more than a million dollars in the past year.

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