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:)