Jobapalooza

Good news, bad news, and great news on today’s jobs numbers.  First the good:

U.S. job growth rebounded last month and the unemployment rate dropped to a near seven-year low of 5.4 percent, signs of a pick-up in economic momentum that could keep the Federal Reserve on track to hike interest rates this year.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 223,000 as gains in services sector jobs offset weakness in mining, the Labor Department said on Friday. The one-tenth of a percentage point decline in the unemployment rate to its lowest level since May 2008 came even as more people piled into the labor market.

Happy wiggling for all. But the bad:

But March payrolls were revised to show only 85,000 jobs created, the smallest since June 2012. That resulted in 39,000 fewer jobs added in February and March than previously reported.

Still, the employment report, which showed steady gains in hourly earnings, suggested underlying strength in the economy at the start of the second quarter after growth almost braked to a halt in the first three months of the year.

And the great:

The unemployment rate for African Americans plummeted in April, dropping to 8.7% from 10.1%.

This is the first time the black unemployment rate has been below 10% since mid-2008.

It’s still, however, twice as high as the white unemployment rate, which fell to 4.4% from 4.9% in March.

And actually that “twice as high” rate has been that way for decades.  It’s, you know, ample evidence of a structural problem in the US that existed long before Barack Obama ever took office, but getting black unemployment down to under 9% is actually really, really good.

Now if wage growth would finally start picking up…

38 replies
  1. 1

    The job numbers for the first three months could be due to the harsh winter.

  2. 2
    Zandar says:

    Yeah, they are pretty fugly. The good news is that so far the Q2 numbers are much better.

  3. 3
    the Conster says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    The winter had a huge effect on all kinds of employment related things here in NE – restaurants, retail, etc. all took a huge hit due to the storms that came every weekend and kept people home.

  4. 4
    ruemara says:

    Woo. I got rejected back to back for employment consideration. And the ACA is killing me. These numbers are good news but I can’t wait until my own personal employment numbers come up. Ha, I know I’m hardly rare in not being able to fully appreciate economic growth that is not personal.

  5. 5
    Mike in NC says:

    But if we had only elected Rmoney in 2012, unemployment would be at .000034%!

  6. 6
    liberal says:

    Now if wage growth would finally start picking up…

    Employment to population ratio still sucks. Not that that’s Obama’s fault, but…

  7. 7
    askew says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I’d guess that is exactly what caused the bad #s. This winter was brutal.

  8. 8

    @the Conster: I live in Mass, though not in Boston, so I have first hand experience.

  9. 9
    Belafon says:

    I wonder if the Baltimore police department will take credit for th enemployement drop. Maybe one of the lawyers could use it in their defense.

    ///////

  10. 10
    raven says:

    Gary Bertsch, Graduation speaker for the grad program at UGA recognized the head custodian at one of the departmental buildings. Very nicely done.

  11. 11
    the Conster says:

    O/T, but this just had to be shared:

    It is the culmination of all the other stupid theories collecting themselves and achieving, via constant enablement by profoundly stupid or cowardly politicians not willing to dismiss even the most lunatic premise if dismissing it would lose the votes of stupid people, a sort of shambling stupidity-enabled sentience of its own. It is a stupidity high water mark, a stupidity tsunami—and just plain the stupidest thing the rest of us have ever been exposed to. Whatever you were aiming for, you top-notch sleuths of secret military planning, you have surpassed it. Surpassed means—never mind, you will have to look it up.

    The one stupid to bind them all.

    This is a thing.of.beauty.

  12. 12
    catclub says:

    From the Google finance headline:

    U.S. job growth rebounded last month and the unemployment rate dropped to a near seven-year low of 5.4 percent, signs of a pick-up in economic momentum that could keep the Federal Reserve on track to hike interest rates this year.

    Except it is just the gobbledegook that headline writers write. They don’t even know what they want. The market goes higher when Fed rate rises are postponed. They want a rate hike because the rate ‘should be higher’. Why? Because it should. Does lack of inflation and zero wage growth matter? Nope, it should just be higher. Because it should.

  13. 13
    catclub says:

    @the Conster: I thought it would be about the British and austerity. And the confidence fairy.

  14. 14
    the Conster says:

    @catclub:

    Conservatism can only be failed – sometimes by austerians, sometimes by the British, and sometimes by nutbars, although the nutbars seem to have created another dimension of conservatism that not only cannot be failed, it cannot be translated out of its native wingnut.

  15. 15
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @catclub: The execrable James Kunstler said in his last blog:

    Until it collapses by a great deal more than the wished-for mere 20 percent, more perversities will be piled onto the already existing burden. Is it not a wonder that professionalized interest groups like AARP have not screamed bloody murder over the suppression of interest rates which deprives its members of bank account and bond interest on savings? Instead AARP, like virtually every enterprise in America, has turned to racketeering. Don’t worry, they’ll be gone from the scene soon enough.

    He has made some good points in the past about suburban ugliness and car dependency, but lately he’s shifted into goldbuggery and racism.

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    All around great news. Thanks Obama!

  17. 17

    @catclub: The rate should be higher because with zero inflation fewer people and businesses are willing to invest in starting new businesses or expanding existing ones. There is no incentive to taking a risk when you know that your investment won’t lose value if you do nothing.

  18. 18
    catclub says:

    OT: Homelessness solved. Wow. Give homes to homeless people.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....elessness/

  19. 19
    WereBear says:

    @the Conster: Thank you, I loved that.

    You’d think that level of stupid would have washed out of the gene pool, yet it persists. Must be environmental.

  20. 20
    catclub says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Do mean the fed funds rate should be higher? Or the inflation rate should be higher? I was talking about raising the fed funds rate. I agree that inflation should be higher.

  21. 21

    @catclub: Inflation should be higher and increasing the Feds fund rate might nudge it in that direction.

  22. 22
    srv says:

    Cameron has proven austerity works.

    Until Obama stops worshiping at the alter of Thugman, the business world will struggle to pull us back to where we were.

  23. 23
    catclub says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Inflation should be higher and increasing the Feds fund rate might nudge it in that direction.

    um…. no.

    Raising the fed funds rate tends to lower inflation, because it tends to reduce economic activity. Lowering it tends to create more economic activity and eventually more inflation. That is why not being able to lower the fed funds rate below zero was a problem when more stimulative monetary policy was needed.

    Keep the fed funds rate as low as necessary until economic activity AND INFLATION increase. Do not increase it just because.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @srv:

    the business world will struggle to pull us back to where we were.

    lol. Fall-winter, 2008-9?

  25. 25
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Is it not a wonder that professionalized interest groups like AARP have not screamed bloody murder over the suppression of interest rates which deprives its members of bank account and bond interest on savings?

    What century does this pr!ck live in? “Pensions” are discussed largely in the same context as “dodo birds”, and the last two crashes have about done for 401ks and trashed investment accounts for anyone below the 1%. Nobody is seeing enough “interest on savings” to make being “deprived” of that income meaningful.

  26. 26
    D58826 says:

    At last something the wingers will not blame on Obama:

    The unemployment rate for African Americans plummeted in April, dropping to 8.7% from 10.1%.

    This is the first time the black unemployment rate has been below 10% since mid-2008.

    It’s still, however, twice as high as the white unemployment rate, which fell to 4.4% from 4.9% in March.

  27. 27

    @catclub:

    They want a rate hike because the rate ‘should be higher’. Why?

    I think the feeling is that a rate hike is the end of extraordinary monetary policy by the Fed and a return to normality, and that is a sign that the Great Recession is truly behind us. That would be a really good sign.

  28. 28

    @boatboy_srq:

    the last two crashes have about done for 401ks and trashed investment accounts for anyone below the 1%.

    This isn’t really true. The crashes have hurt those accounts, but the recoveries have undone the damage and then some. The Obama Administration has been very, very good for the stock market, and that includes things like index funds that ordinary people can invest in. People who were able to wait out the crash and recovery have done very well by their 401ks and investment accounts.

  29. 29
    the Conster says:

    @Roger Moore:

    One of the conservatives I work with had a come to Jesus moment when Tailgunner Ted and his band of teaparty henchmen were hell bent on defaulting a year ago last October. We talked about how we were too old to be rebuilding our 401ks again, and he agreed that the recklessness of default was a bridge too far. Of course being a conservative he was only concerned with his own well-being, but hey, baby steps.

  30. 30
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: I am so glad the Fed appears to agree with me, that a rate hike should ONLY come when employment is very good AND inflation in wages is happening. Not just because we need to ‘indicate a return to normalcy’. (I could turn out to be deluded, and they raise rates well before inflation is up, although I have never been deluded before.)

  31. 31
    catclub says:

    @the Conster:

    Of course being a conservative he was only concerned with his own well-being, but hey, baby steps.

    A man who was bullied horribly all through high school, yet stayed in the small town he grew up in, tells the story of one of his tormentors coming to him and saying that he is so sorry for what he did back then and did not realize how horrible it was. … His response: “So now one of your kids is being bullied?”

    Empathy is one of those things that is often left out of people.

  32. 32

    @catclub:
    I don’t think the Fed is going to raise rates to cause a return to normal monetary policy. It’s just that when the Fed finally does raise rates, it will be very good sign. The problem is with people who get the cause and effect reversed and think the Fed would be causing normality rather than reacting to it.

  33. 33
    low-tech cyclist says:

    I’m actually kinda glad that we had a mediocre jobs report, rather than a great one.

    Between April’s and March’s jobs reports, the Fed will surely be putting rate hikes on the back burner for awhile, even if May, June, and July look great.

  34. 34

    @low-tech cyclist:
    I really want the Fed to come out and say they’re going to be basing their decisions on broader measures of unemployment than U3. I guess they’re doing that indirectly by saying they’re going to look at wage inflation, but it would be nice to include some actual measure of underemployment to the official data they’re tracking.

  35. 35
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: ah, now i see. I agree.

  36. 36
    David Koch says:

    but, but…. DROOOOOOOOOONNNNZEZ

    and, and…. tELPh0Ne mTAT dtAT

  37. 37
    Plantsmantx says:

    And actually that “twice as high” rate has been that way for decades.

    That chart also reveals that the highest recorded black unemployment rate occurred under Reagan.

  38. 38
    Steve says:

    Record number not participating in the work force.

Comments are closed.