April Employment Report

The latest from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Nonfarm payroll employment edged up (+88,000) in April, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job gains continued in several service-providing industries, including health care and food services, while employment declined in retail trade and manufacturing.

Edged up must be a euphemism for weak employment growth with respect to the payroll survey. The news looks worse if one looks at the household survey:

In April, total employment and the employment-population ratio fell to 145.8 million and 63.0 percent, respectively. The civilian labor force also fell over the month, to 152.6 million, and the labor force participation rate declined to 66.0 percent.

The fall in the household survey reporting of employment was 468,000. The unemployment rate would have risen even more had it not been for the fall in the labor force participation rate (LFP). The decline in the employment to population ratio (EP) was disappointing. Maybe it’s time that the Federal Reserve lower interest rates.

Update: The White House tries to paint this report as goods news but it has to lie to people to do so:

Today, The Bureau Of Labor Statistics Released New Jobs Figures – 88,000 Jobs Created In April. Since August 2003, more than 7.8 million jobs have been created … The Economy Has Now Experienced Over Five Years Of Uninterrupted Growth, Averaging 3.0 Percent A Year Since 2001.

It is true that employment rose by more 7.8 million since August 2003 but remember it fell from early 2001 to August 2003. Over the past five years, employment has increased by a mere 4.1% or 0.8% per year on average. Now as far as real GDP, it was 115.4 percent of its 2001 level but that means average growth since 2001 has been only 2.9% per year and this is following a year where real GDP grew by only 0.75%. Neither real GDP growth nor employment growth has been strong over the past six years. The White House knows this – but they hope you are too stupid to see through their lies.