March Labor Report Adds 162,000 Jobs By Tiernan Ray
This morning’s U.S. Department of Labor report on the March jobs situation came in not as well as could be hoped but also not a disaster, either.
Where economists had projected, on average, a rise of 200,000 jobs in March, private employers and government together added 162,000 jobs, the Department reported. The unemployment level stood firm at 9.7%, the department said. Unemployment was “little changed” in March at 15 million, the government said.
U.S. Markets are closed for Good Friday, but the S&P 500 futures for June are down ever-so-slightly on the news, off 0.6 points at 1,173.10, below last night’s close of 1,178.10.
Its not just government debt, its total US debt, which on Jan 2009 was so much and required so much to service it, that it had a negative effect on GDP. This was 5 years ahead of the trend, but considering 4-quarter averaging, it is still negative. Google "On Deficits And Debt-Financed Government" and you will get to the market-ticker article by Karl Denninger, you will see just how mathematically screwed we are. This is due to the impossible contract problem created by charging interest, that makes it impossible to pay back all loans. In fact, for the average purchase, about 50% of cost is due to interest payments.
Negatives • Average Hourly Earnings of all employees NFP fell by 2 cents, or 0.1%. • Unemployment rate is unchanged at 9.7% (no improvement this month) • U6 Unemployment, the broadest measure, rose to 16.9% –that’s off of the December 2009 peak of 17.3, but higher than January (16.5%) and February (16.8%) of 2010. • Long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks+) increased by 414,000 to 6.5 million. (bad) • 44.1 percent of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks +. (Also very bad) • Involuntary part-time workers increased to 9.1 million in March. (This remains a stubborn problem area)
Positives • +162k is the best report since March, 2007. • Average workweek was up by 0.1 hour to 34.0 hours in March. • Temp help services added 40,000 jobs in March. That’s a cumulative add of 313k since September 2009. • Census added “only” 48,000 workers — far below the 100-150k consensus. This pushes their hiring out into the rest of the year. • Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate at 64.9% edged up in March • Manufacturing continued to trend up (+17,000); Mfr added 45,000 jobs in Q1. • Revisions: January 2010 data was revised upwards 40k (from-26k to +14k); February was revised up 22k (from -36k to -14k).
Stone-McCarthy points out that – if we subtract the temporary hiring of census workers, better weather and birth-death model adjustments – we’re left with a net loss of 67,000 jobs.
Indeed, Goldman Sachs attributes the job gain as “due mainly if not entirely to census hiring and weather rebound”, finds “little underlying improvement”, and says that “productivity gains have diminished sharply”.