Friday, May 07, 2004

Unexpectedly high jobs numbers from the April employment report out today.
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was about unchanged at 5.6 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The April increase in payroll employment follows a gain of 337,000 in March, and job growth again was widespread. In April, employment rose substantially in several service-providing industries, construction continued to add jobs, and there was a noteworthy job gain in durable goods manufacturing.
If you recall, the consensus forecast was 165,000 -- over 100,000 jobs short of actual.

The jobs gains from the last two months is finally showing a real recovery from the longest jobs recession in post-Great Depression US history. Yet the jobs recession itself is nowhere near over. The US is still 2.26 million private sector jobs short of where it was in February 2001, and at 39 months and counting, the Bush II jobs recession is by far the longest lasting. Poppy Bush's ended at 39 months, and the next longest (under Reagan) ended at 27 months! At the rate of recovery seen in the past two months, the Dubya jobs recession should be over around March 2005.

Even with an extra 280,000 private sector jobs in April, this is still a "jobless recovery".

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