Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.


The employment was bad news as payroll employment only rose by 18,000 as compared to the last months disappointing rise of 25,000. Government employment fell 39,000 versus 48,000 inMay. Private payrolls expanded only 57,000 that was even weaker than the prior months 73,000. Over the last two months payroll employment was essentially unchanged. Moreover, the […]


The employment report was the strongest this cycle as total payroll employment expanded some 216,000. This consisted of a 230,000 gain in private payrolls and a 14,000 drop in government jobs as state and local governments are still shedding jobs. Moreover, the household survey reported a 291,000 gain in employment. The last two months private […]

February Employment Report

The BLS released its employment report for February this morning: Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 192,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in manufacturing, construction, professional and business services, health care, and transportation and warehousing. Here’s a bit […]

The household survey paints a clearer picture of the January employment report than does the nonfarm payroll

I’ll forward you to Spencer’s post on the January Employment report. As always, he sifts through this massive report and eloquently describes the state of the labor market. But I thought that I’d add a bit on the disparity between the household survey and the establishment survey. The annual population revisions and weather distortions have […]

Employment Report

The employment report appears to confirm that the economy has slipped into a stagnation scenario as both payroll and the household survey reported that employment fell. The drop in employment stemmed largely from the layoffs of census workers as private sector employment rose some 71,000 as compared to 31,000 last month.Compared to the historic norm […]

Are you better off than you were a year ago? 28 States Say No.

The WSJ Economics Blog, discussing June 2010 unemployment rates by state, uses the headline “Most Regions Show Improvement“* I suppose we should be encouraged by the headline and not look at the text: Washington, DC and 16 states recorded jobless rates in excess of 10%. North and South Dakota continued to have the lowest rates […]

Employment Report

The employment report was basically more of the same and was very discouraging.Even though the headline number reported a large 431,00 increase in employment, most of this was temporary Census jobs. Private employment only increased 41,000, significantly less than in the previous few months. The unemployment rate fell, but that was just as much a […]