I’ve been traveling and spending time with family lately, so I apologize for the lack of recent posts. Next week I’ll be back in action. In the mean time, I couldn’t help but notice that the US economy continues to disappoint when it comes to the creation of new private-sector jobs. From this morning’s BLS news release:
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 108,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The December increase in payroll employment followed a gain of 305,000 in November (as revised). Several industries added jobs over the month, including food services, professional and business services, health care, and manufacturing.
I’ve just Googled the term, and find (much to my… er… disappointment) that I’ve felt compelled to use the term “disappointing” literally scores of times over the past two years when describing the performance of the US economy.
The following picture helps to illustrate why.
Even the very best 3-month job creation of this economic recovery was beaten numerous times during the period 1994-2000. And over the past couple of years average job creation has generally been in the neighborhood of 100-200k per month, far below what we have come to expect during an economic expansion, and just barely enough to keep up with population growth.