May 6, 2012

April 2012 Employment Information - Grim News

[Hat tip to John Mauldin/Barry Ritholz for this information quoting yet another source,  Philippa Dunne & Doug Henwood of The Liscio Report (]

Jobs, the fodder for much political rhetoric in this campaign season, are not growing and we have little evidence of a sustained economic recovery.  Too many people are not in the labor force.

I believe that we are a long way from creating enough good paying jobs with a supply of people qualified to take them. Capital investments in technology will continue to substitute for labor for the foreseeable future, IMHO.

"* The longer-term picture of labor force withdrawal is kind of shocking. Total household employment is down by 4.4 million since the Great Recession began in December 2007, and the number of unemployed is up by 4.9 million. The civilian population is up 9.6 million – but the labor force is up just 447,000. The number classed as not in the labor force is up by 9.2 million – and those not in the labor force and wanting a job is up 1.7 million. In other words, just 5% of the increase in the adult population over the last 4 1/3 years has found its way into employment; the other 95% are not in the labor force.

* The unemployment rate fell by 0.1 point to 8.1%, its lowest level in more than three years. The number of unemployed fell by 173,000 – but the labor force shrank by almost the same amount, 169,000.

Without the labor force shrinkage, the unemployment rate probably would have been unchanged. Within the unemployed, the number of job losers fell – but so did the number of re-entrants and voluntary leavers, suggesting that the increased confidence we saw through those indicators in recent months may be dissipating. With the quit rate down, and the long-term unemployed dropping out of the labor force, the mid-ranges of unemployment duration (from 5-26 weeks) saw an increase, as the extreme short- and long-term durations fell."

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