Biz

March Jobs Report: Better News

STILL, STORM CLOUDS LINGER ON ECONOMIC HORIZON … The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its March 2016 jobs report on Friday – boasting of a 215,000 increase in new jobs and (more importantly) a 0.3 percent uptick in hourly earnings. Analysts were expecting an uptick of 205,000 new…

STILL, STORM CLOUDS LINGER ON ECONOMIC HORIZON …

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its March 2016 jobs report on Friday – boasting of a 215,000 increase in new jobs and (more importantly) a 0.3 percent uptick in hourly earnings. Analysts were expecting an uptick of 205,000 new jobs and a 0.2 percent increase in hourly earnings.

Good news, right?  Sure … to the extent you can believe the government’s data.

Anyway, the report (.pdf here) also revealed an increase in the labor participation rate – which climbed from 62.9 to 63 percent thanks to an estimated 400,000 new entrants into the nation’s work force.  The last time this critical indicator was at 63 percent or higher?  April of 2014.

So that’s good news …

One worrisome sign?  The ongoing decline in high-paying manufacturing jobs.  Last month saw the biggest one-month decline in manufacturing positions in six-and-a-half years … and the second straight month of manufacturing job losses.

Oh, and a whopping 93.4 million working-age Americans remain outside of the labor force.

Those represent some pretty ominous storm clouds … especially when viewed in the context of slumping first quarter economic growth and stagnant (now slipping) consumer comfort.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: We don’t want to be pessimists about America’s economic future.  Like Eddie Vedder sang, we wish we were messengers … and all the news was good.

But we have to go where the numbers lead us …

These numbers?  They’re not terrible … but they are not the sort of sustained employment and income growth our economy needs right now.

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2 comments

sparklecity April 1, 2016 at 4:51 pm

30 March 2016: Slipping consumer spending = ominous times ahead according to FITS…
Today (1 April 2016): Things aren’t so bad after all according to FITS………..
This can only mean one thing………..
APRIL’S FOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply
Bible Thumper April 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm

What happened to “Unfair, Imbalancesd”? It is still up in the banner, but this article is relatively Fair, Balanced. I will take issue with one point, however.

Oh, and a whopping 93.4 million working-age Americans remain outside of the labor force.

Outside the labor force includes high schoolers, college students, housewives, and retirees — anyone over the age of 16 who is not in the military, prison or a nursing home. That number has dropped 976,000 over the last six months. During those six months, the adult civilian population has grown by 1,443,000, That means the civilian labor force has grown by 2,419,000 in the last six months. The following link to a chart and table shows that sudden jump in 2015 and 2016.
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11000000

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