"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Employment Situation

We've been building up to this all week, and now it's finally here!  The Employment Situation report!  Yaaaay!
If you recall, last month's report was pretty good.  For February, we had a 216,000 increase in nonfarm payroll employment (beating expectations), an unemployment rate of 8.8% (which beat expectations), and no change in average workweek or average hourly earnings.  There were 13.5 million people out of work (6.1 million of which are long-term unemployed), 8.4 million involuntarily part-time workers, and 2.4 million marginally attached individuals (all of which combines to give an effective unemployment rate of 14.4%).
The Econoday-surveyed analysts are not quite as optimistic for April.  They're calling for 185,000 new nonfarm jobs, an unemployment rate of 8.8%, a 0.2% increase in average hourly earnings, and an average workweek of 34.3 hours.
We now turn to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for The Employment Situation -- April 2011, which presets with a bit of a mixed bag.  Nonfarm payroll employment has crushed expectations, coming in at an increase of 244,000.  Yay!  On the other hand, the unemployment rate increased to 9.0%, with 13.7 million people unemployed and looking for work (up about 200,000).  Boo!  The average workweek remained steady at 34.3 hours, and average hourly earnings increased by 0.1% to $22.95/hour.
The number of long-term unemployed declined by 283,000 to 5.5 million, meaning they now make up 43.4% of the unemployed.  Individuals employed part time for economic reasons increased to 8.6 million (up about 200,000), and the marginally attached individuals increased to 2.5 million (up about 100,000)..  That puts the effective unemployment rate at 16.29%.

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