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March was the 30th consecutive month the government has reported that the seasonally adjusted job gains outpaced losses. But, at 88,000, the number announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was far below the February figure and is clearly going in the wrong direction. The January and February numbers, however, were revised upward.

A consensus of experts surveyed ahead of time by Bloomberg News had forecast the BLS would report 193,000 new jobs had been added in March. Even the most pessimistic advance appraisal, however, didn't come close to the actual number. The official unemployment rate fell to 7.6%, but that was wholly a function of a reduced workforce.

The private sector expanded by 95,000 jobs. Governments at all levels lost a total of 7,000 jobs, but 14,000 were lost in federal employment, so local and state governments have been doing some hiring. Last March, the BLS reported a seasonally adjusted gain of 205,000 private- and public-sector jobs.

One good bit of news was that the BLS revised its previously reported growth in payroll employment for January from 119,000 to 148,000 and for February from 236,000 to 268,000. The BLS counted 11.7 million Americans as unemployed. Those unemployed for six months or more fell to 4.6 million. The civilian labor force participation ratio fell to 63.3 percent, its lowest level October 1978; the employment-population ratio fell to 58.5 percent. That is is within the range it has been in for the past four years but it had previously not been so low since 1983. Some 496,000 Americans left the labor force in March.

In BLS jargon, the added 88,000 jobs constitute "U3." But the bureau also measures with an alternative gauge called "U6." This tallies workers who are part-time not by choice but for "economic reason," meaning they want full-time jobs but can't find them, and some but not all Americans who want jobs but have stopping looking for one. The U6 rate for March dropped to 13.8 percent. Add up the 11.7 million who are officially unemployed (U3), the 7.6  million underemployed (U6), and the 6.72 million who are not in the labor force but say they want a job, and you have 26 million unemployed and underemployed Americans.

At the current pace, the increase in jobs means just getting back to where the nation was when the recession began 65 months ago will take until 2018 or later, more than a decade all told. But in the post-World War II era, the shortest time between one recession and the next was just under nine years. Critics have pointed out that, in one of the more insidious forms of class warfare, productivity gains have been accruing almost exclusively to employers not workers. Median household income now is eight percent less than it was in 2000. And corporate profits have doubled. In short, even those Americans lucky enough to have jobs are not, on average, faring as well as they were before the Great Recession struck.

The federal budget sequester began March 1, and since the BLS closes the data for its report on the 12th of each month, it's a little early for the impact from that to be hitting very hard. But the Congressional Budget Office estimates that if it continues to the end of the fiscal year, it could cost 750,000 jobs. But some economists scoff at this, saying the CBO's methodology is off and, at worst, the sequester might force the shedding of 300,000 jobs. Split the difference, and the economy could lose two to three months worth of job growth between now and September 30.

For more details about today's jobs report, please continue reading below the fold.

As I have previously explained:

The government's BLS jobs report is the product of a pair of surveys, one of more than 410,000 business establishments called Current Employment Statistics, and one called the Current Population Survey, which questions 60,000 householders. The establishment survey determines how many new jobs were added, always calculated on a seasonally adjusted basis. The CPS provides data that determine the official "headline" unemployment rate, also known as "U3." That's the number which is now 7.7 percent.

The BLS report only provides a snapshot of what's happening at a single point in time. The jobs-created-last-month-numbers that it reports are not "real." Not because of a conspiracy, but because BLS statisticians apply seasonal adjustments to the raw data, estimate the number of jobs created by the "birth" and "death" of businesses, use other filters. In the fine print, they tell us that the actual number of newly created jobs reported is actually plus or minus 100,000.

Because of this range of possibilities, the economy could have lost as many as 12,000 jobs in March or could have added as many as 188,000. As better data are obtained, the BLS revises its count each month for the previous two months. Today's numbers will be fine-tuned in the May and June reports just as January's and February's were revised substantially upward by today's.

Every month, one or two days ahead of the BLS report, Automatic Data Processing, one of the nation's largest payroll services companies, also provides a snapshot of newly added seasonally adjusted jobs created solely by the private sector. On Wednesday ADP reported  that the economy generated 158,000 new private-sector jobs in March.

Also on Wednesday, TrimTabs Investment Research estimated that 156,000 new jobs had been added to the economy in March. The firm calculates payroll job growth based on daily deposits of income taxes being withheld from people's paychecks.


Here's what the job growth numbers looked like in March for the previous 10 years. These data have been recalculated via the BLS's annual benchmark revisions:

March 2003: -  215,000
March 2004: + 333,000    
March 2005: + 135,000
March 2006: + 280,000
March 2007: + 186,000
March 2008: -    79,000
March 2009: -  830,000
March 2010: -  154,000  
March 2011: + 205,000
March 2012: + 205,000
March 2013: +   88,000

Among other changes in today's job report:

Professional services: + 51,000
Leisure & hospitality: + 13,000
Health care: + 23,000
Retail trade: - 24,000
Construction: + 18,000
• The average workweek (for production and non-supervisory workers) rose 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours.
• Average manufacturing hours fell 0.1 to 40.8 hours.
• The average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 1 cent from February's revised figure to $23.82.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Economics and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Still far below sufficient job growth (6+ / 0-)

    by Paleo on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:06:01 AM PDT

    •  In related news.... (8+ / 0-)

      The senate Gang of 8 set to unveil an immigration reform legislature to increase, by orders of magnitude, the number of foreign workers allowed in to compete with U.S. unemployed for jobs.

      DailyKos members will cheer while wondering why unemployment is still so high.

      •  I won't cheer, these work visas stink (9+ / 0-)

        There's more than enough evidence showing that companies are abusing the system and not even trying to recruit US workers then turning around and saying there's not enough skilled workers.

        They simply want a higher, cheaper supply of labor to screw workers.

        Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

        by absdoggy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:32:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No kidding. Go to local job clubs and networking (5+ / 0-)

          groups and count the 40+ "independent consultants" you find.

          Yeah, we NEED those skills so badly that we don't want to use native talent.

          Sheesh. What a scam.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:16:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Seen this happen... (4+ / 0-)

          I've been in offices where tech jobs are suddenly "outsourced" to Indian companies that promise cheap labor with work visas. These employees don't get paid the same as regular workers. I've talked with a few and they end up all living together in cramped apartments just to survive.

          This is not encouraging when "work visas" equate to "imported slave labor".

          "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

          by Wynter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:16:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  When 12 million workers become "legal", (10+ / 0-)

        how many points will the UE rate jump?

        There are millions of potential workers here on visa overstays that will not be competing for entry-level jobs.  They will be competing for much higher paying jobs in the tech, health and administrative fields.

        I have given up hope that my field, IT, will turn around anytime soon.  More and more projects are being outsourced to India and Pakistan and elsewhere, or the government allows those workers to simply come here and earn slave wages for slave hours.  And, all the workers who never bothered to go home will soon be given the red carpet treatment and allowed, with the blessings of the US government, to step into what few IT jobs are left.

        •  IT industry failures... (6+ / 0-)

          I know what you mean. It's not that we are bitter IT workers towards them. But the companies that scam these people into the country are creating a real crisis. We expect each worker to be paid a commensurate wage. When companies fail to do so they create a vacuum. And when they ignore or prohibit hiring of the existing US IT workforce just to get cheap labor they end up breaking the overall industry.

          In the past workers had to strike to get fair wages for all. Nowadays, Congress is circumventing Labor through these Work Visa programs. They were not meant to be used as a cudgel against Labor. They were meant to find necessary skills when we didn't have enough in the country already.

          IT workers are currently underemployed or unemployed simply because the companies are either too cheap or too self-important to hire and train up the current work force. They are looking for extremely experienced and skilled IT workers at below rockbottom salaries. This isn't the way America works.

          There are a few tenets to IT hiring I tend to stick to.

          - Hire for skills, but look for talent: Hire skilled workers and trainable workers. You can hire a person with the right skills but you can't make them work. It takes skills plus talent to make a team work.

          - Pay people what they are worth and they work harder: Skimping on salaries just for budgetary reasons is a losing proposition. As a manager, you have the job of securing the funding necessary to make the project succeed. It's your failure if you can't. Underpaying workers depresses their talents and can even make them make mistakes that can cost you success overall. It's not worth it.

          - Train a workforce, don't just hire one: It's an old idea which has been discarded over the years thanks to outsourcing. But it needs to come back if we are going to make real jobs in this country. Hiring a worker is like planting a seed. You grow them into what you need them to be in the future as part of the overall team. You can build a tremendous team of individuals if you can follow all of these tenets correctly. People that can be dependable, dedicated and enthusiastic about your company's success.

          But of course, companies fail in this arena. They hire peicemeal for projects. The do so on the cheap and personnel move on to other places multiple times because of this. The IT world suffers because of it.

          "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

          by Wynter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:37:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wish more managers had your philosophy (6+ / 0-)

            Especially point three, training.  This is a point that's often overlooked whenever people talk about the phantom "skills-gap" our nation faces.  Now, somewhat obviously, there isn't any kind of skills gap, because if there were, unemployment would be near rock bottom in sectors of the economy, and wages would be sky-rocketing as companies fought over the highly-demanded but limited supply of skilled workers.

            But second, and more importantly, if there were a skills gap, how come companies aren't hiring people and training them?  Are they such terrible employers they're afraid people will flee to greener fields as soon as the training is complete?  

            The example I always call to mind is World War II.  America sent its men off to war.  But America also needed industry to produce the goods to win the war!  So what did American companies do?  They shattered the gender barrier, and hired completely unskilled women, who after being trained were assembling the planes, bombs, tanks, and ships we needed to win the war.  That's what a skills shortage looks like.  

            American companies today have a terrible disease of the mind.  They don't want to please customers, just shareholders.  They don't want to pay their employees, just their executives.  And they don't want to train the next generation, they just want to import foreigners who have state-subsidized educations, who will work in America at rock bottom wages.  It's terrible.

          •  Well, said.. and it's nice to hear (0+ / 0-)

            a manager with your attitude.

          •  I agree and would add a couple things (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wynter, denise b

            One is sort of an offshoot of your final point: when making any decision that might impact them, take them into account and if possible include them. This applies to numerous things, including not creating an environment so hectic they can't be effective (the studies on this should terrify managers concerned about productivity)

            The other builds on your first point - it is difficult to find workers who meet all the criteria for a professional IT position. Over the past few years, my small team at a large company has had occasion to need a number of people. Out of loads and loads of resumes, few were what we needed (and our needs are not unusual). Out of the few we interviewed, few would have worked out. Out of the few we actually hired. . .let's just say the trend continued, though there were a couple bright spots.

               The point of all this is that in IT at least, both employers and workers have focused too much on technical ability and not enough on other things that make for a good employee and a good team. The result is a workforce increasingly devoid of these skills. I tend to think that some older workers might be more likely to fit the bill if only companies were willing to invest the time on training. But the overall problem is a lack of focus on what matters most.

            The IT world isn't the only world that suffers because of this. The idea of a bright line between IT and the rest of the company is a concept that needs to go away in this day and age. For most of the nation's top companies, IT should be inextricably intertwined with the business.

            Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to and check out New World Orders

            by eparrot on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:30:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Recruiting suffers of test aces. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              IT has suffered a good deal from having too many skill sets that are in technology that is moving faster and faster. I can't tell you how many jobs I have seen that posted that want obscure skill sets or combinations of skillsets all at the expert level even though that version of the skill only came out a year or so ago.

              I'm one of those old school mainframe folks that grew into the .Net web area of developing. And there is no way in hell I can keep up with all the various branches to this segment of the field. Most of these specific skillsets are similar and if you can understand one you can figure out the other in with a little bit of training or on the job experience. But many recruiters don't look for that when they screen resumes. They look only for the keywords and don't delve deeper to see whether the candidate could actually compensate for this on the job.

              I pride myself as a jack of all trades that can adapt to almost any environment or requirement given a chance. But you can't shine in an interview these days with just that behind you. They fire off questions not designed to gauge your ability to solve problems but rather to ascertain if you know the keywords, jargon or obscure factoids that accompany a skillset. Only asking test type questions will always get you someone that can pass tests, not someone that can properly develop, code, and test an application. We have lost the ability in recruiting to adequately assess candidates.

              "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

              by Wynter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:12:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  You can now work an IT job here for $11/hr! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IT Professional, Tweedledee5

        "Don't Let Your Mouth Write A Check, That Your Butt Can't Cash."

        by LamontCranston on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:52:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  and of course, rightwingers are blaming Obama (10+ / 0-)

    Republicans NEVER had any intention of compromising to PREVENT the Sequester.
    When the Sequester passed - Boehner said he got "98% of what he wanted."

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:08:00 AM PDT

    •  It's partly O's fault, for NOT fighting! (6+ / 0-)

      A lot of us knew this was coming when Obama/Reid caved on the debt fight and accepted exactly what the Repugs wanted, big budget cuts that would slash government!

      Did Obama learn anything?  I doubt it.  Next will come the cuts in Social Security and Medicare that this sequester was supposed to prevent.  The right will claim it's Obama's fault, the left will claim it's more 11 dimensional chess, and the Oligarchs will win and the poor will lose.

    •  So you agree now (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeopardydd, MPociask, Tweedledee5

      that was a sucky deal on Obama's part?

      •  No. The sequester was the right thing. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Let's let the Republicans cheer bad news.

        Sadly, it's like the old aerobics mantra:  No Pain, no Gain.

        Fortunately, the worst of the pain is cushioned by exemptions in the sequester.

        Some vulnerable people are still being hurt, but the numbers are small enough that help can be arranged -- if anybody cares to do so.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:19:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The sequester is working as planned (4+ / 0-)

    The increase in the number of jobs has declined. At this rate jobs will be declining in the next quarter.

    The Republicans will celebrate this good news.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:08:09 AM PDT

  •  Strange how economists talk about uncertainty (7+ / 0-)

    holding down hiring, then pooh-pooh the effects of the sequester on jobs.

    The budget crap in Washington has dragged down consumer confidence which is leading to a drop in consumer spending. The drop in spending will lead to a drop in production and jobs.

    The indirect effects of the sequester may be more important that the direct effects.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:13:32 AM PDT

    •  More likely the payroll tax than anything else.. (4+ / 0-)

      Also, the IRS delayed payouts of refunds until the end of January.  So, this year started out really poorly for consumers and retailers.  Wal-Mart called January a "disaster".

      I don't think consumer confidence has much to do with the "budget crap".  It has to do with how much cash Joe Blow has in his pocket - i.e. less.

      •  Excellent point! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bon Temps

        I for one hated the payroll tax break because of the risks it opened for SS. But it was one of the most stimulative things we;ve had, and it got removed.

        Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to and check out New World Orders

        by eparrot on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:31:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People forget that tax breaks are "stimulus" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          every bit as much as government spending money.  Keynes even identified lowering taxes as a way to stimulate.

          While I agree with you that under funding SS was not a smart thing, the payroll tax holiday was a perfectly targeted stimulus.  It affected lower and middle income earners much more than higher earners - and those lower income earners were much more likely to inject those dollars immediately back into the economy through consumer spending.

          •  You are correct (0+ / 0-)

            Just because it made me very uneasy doesn't mean I didn't recognize and support the stimulative impact. Many things aren't black and white.

            Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to and check out New World Orders

            by eparrot on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:28:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Not as bad as it appears (7+ / 0-)

    the revisions to January and February were both very positive (+29k and +32k respectively) and I will expect this one to get revised up as well (seems to be the pattern for the past 2 years of weak initial reports and strong revisions).  

    Also, U-6 declining is again a sign that this isn't all about "discouraged workers" but may be a more fundamental shift that we should have expected with an aging population.  

    Overall, the initial read is not good, but let's see how the revisions come in.

  •  I guess cutting a deal with US Chamber of Commer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:15:37 AM PDT

  •  The Republican playbook (5+ / 0-)

    First kill the recovery under the name of "austerity".....  but blame it on Obama.  Use this contrived economic hardship to win elections.
    Use the power of elected office to dismantle democracy.
    Deregulate Wall Street, obstruct voters, stack the courts, rig the districts and revolve the doors.
    Militarize the police and capture the media.
    Finally, with our Constitutional checks and balances destroyed, let the bold days of bald face state sanctioned  plutocracy begin.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:16:46 AM PDT

  •  Numbers bad?....Boehner to trash the president in (4+ / 0-)

    5...4...3...2...1........Numbers good?......Boehner to praise GOP Obstruction in 5...4.....3....3....1.

  •  This is sequester pure and simple. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And it's going to get a lot worse over the next few months.  Companies are going to be very cautious and lay people off before they lose the government contracts.

    Shut down the National Parks on Sundays, make big lines at airports, stop federal licensing on Tues...

    People need to see what the sequester is going to do to this country and they need to start paying attention.  The worst thing for the idiot government managers to do would be to try and hide the effects.

  •  If Mitt Romney had won, this number (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Tweedledee5

    would be a lot higher. That is according to the analysis of one Ann Romney. Also, we'd have already started, and won, a war with North Korea.

    •  And Iran. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:33:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "If Romney had won..." a punch line now... (0+ / 0-)

      It's as though we are to forget all the policy blunders - betrayal on the public option, extending the Bush tax cuts the first time, the sequester, and now cutting SS and Medicare - because "it could have been worse" with Romney.

      Are you planning to use that as the justification for Obama's bullshit until he leaves office?

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:09:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Am I the only one not surprised? (3+ / 0-)

    The entire global economy has been slowing down for months. Most of the 1st world is already in recession.
       yet for some reason most everyone thinks that America is going to be immune from it. It's nuts.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:50:12 AM PDT

    •  This is not just global economics (0+ / 0-)

      I think most of this is the U.S. buying into Austerity and now we're about to pay the price.  Japan and soon China are about to stimulate while Europe and U.S. continue with this BS austerity.  It'll be hard for both their export dependent economies to grow, if the economies of the people they export to are shrinking.

      •  US not in austerity, just slightly less stimulus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        the US still has large stimulus from a $1 trillion federal deficit while interest rates are at historic lows.

        Federal spending in 2013 is still higher than in 2012.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:59:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Its interesting that though the report was (0+ / 0-)

    weak, thanks to austerity and the Guns Over People Party, that the unemployment rate dropped. I would love to hear Obama nail Boner and the GOP for the first effects felt for the Tea Party fueled austerity they so demanded. I won't hold my breath though.

  •  Don't forget (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrAnon, Tweedledee5

    Something like $20 billion is coming out of the economy on a monthly basis due to the loss of relief in FICA taxes. The sequester results in an additional $14 billion that must be cut from the Fed budget over the next 6 months. Added together that's a $34 billion monthly hit to the economy split between retail sales (mostly discretionary I hope) and government purchases of goods and services from the private sector.

    There will be direct government jobs lost due to the sequester but there's no way you can cover any significant fraction of the costs by dumping employees. You have to close entire operating facilities and eliminate all associated costs.

    We've been experiencing an inventory build in the economy coming out of the 4th qtr and that led to a lot of early year hiring, same as has occurred in the last 3 years or so, but that's mostly over for now. The danger right now is if we start losing jobs going forward. That would be a major blow to confidence with potential contagion effects.

    The President stated that we could lose as many as 750k jobs due to the sequester. The Fed chairman said the sequester would cut 1.5 percentage points from GDP. I think we should consider these forecasts to be more accurate than what is coming out of wall street given that wall street's incentive for accuracy is dubious.

  •  I meant $10 billion FICA taxes. Sorry. eom. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Sorry, MB, but 2018 does not add up, and I know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Tweedledee5

    you know the reason why: 63.3%.

    88,000 new jobs is not enough to keep up with the needs of our growing population.  If the most recent numbers were to continue, the only way we could "recover" by 2018 is to knock millions of people completely out of the labor force.

    That said, we don't want to make too much out of any one month, given the way that the numbers are derived, but I fear that our leaders have decided to "solve" this problem by defining it away.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:12:05 AM PDT

  •  Need the chart broken down by type of job... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The overall job number chart is a good start just to see if we are heading in the positive direction. But lately I am concerned if this number is a smokescreen for a more nasty problem we are seeing... low paying or underpaying jobs.

    We should be able to generate a job breakdown from the new jobs detailing out what types of jobs are being created. Are they "flipping burgers" or are they "engineering/tech" jobs?

    These trends will tell us if this is a good recovery overall or it's a false recovery that is just good for the 1%.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:12:34 AM PDT

    •  That kind of information is available... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tweedledee5, Wynter

      ...and I've reported on it frequently. But it's not available each month contiguous to the job report itself.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:05:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do we have any trend lines for them? (0+ / 0-)

        Do we have enough information to make a general breakdown of whether we are fixing the job problem slowly or just making ourselves into a low wage, dead end country of jobs that no one least of all the weakest among us make a living at?

        "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

        by Wynter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:00:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What recovery? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, HeyMikey, Tweedledee5

    Look at where we should be in employment not just percent job loss, but relative to population growth. The civilian participation rate is a better measure. I just don't think that we have a real recovery.

    MB's observation that a recession will happen before we return to the employment level pre-crash is correct. But the goal is to attain the the level that we would have been at without the crash. This seems impossible. Given that each successive recession has taken longer and longer to recover we may have significant structural problems with the economy.

    The stock market, some local real estate markets and corporate earnings are up. Personal earnings are flat. I ask manufacturers and retailers in my business sector and the response is always the same "what recovery?" Granted, this is anecdotal evidence, but if we had a robust recovery it would have encompassed all of my sources.

    The unemployment rate becomes more and more suspect as the recession continues as more workers give up and potential new workers don't even try. The economist's definition of recession is dysfunctional. If we lost 80% of the economy and then in the next quarter grew 1% of what was left we would be out of a recession. When employment is back to where it should be as a function of population then I'd say that the recession is over.

    •  The definition of recession is not dysfunctional (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is about quarter to quarter growth not whether new all time highs are being reached.

      The your real issue is that the political class has succeeded in lowering expectations.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:08:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd say it's dysfunctional (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, The Wizard, Tweedledee5

        Since, as you mentioned, it's pegged to quarter to quarter growth.  Those are very fuzzy numbers - estimating GDP is an art, not a science.  And if GDP is growing, not a recession!  Never mind if all the gains are going to the top 10%, while the bottom 90% are worse off.  

        Recession and growth are just arbitrary terms - we could redefine them by any metric we wanted, really.  What would a people driven definition look like?  Perhaps several factors - has job growth been outpacing population growth - have median wages been rising - how close is the economy to outputting at maximum capacity - what are poverty or food stamp numbers doing?  

        It'd be a messier test than just saying GDP up, GDP down, but then again, reality is messy.  

        •  Context is all. (0+ / 0-)
          the goal is to attain the the level that we would have been at without the crash...When employment is back to where it should be as a function of population then I'd say that the recession is over.
          The unspoken assumption here is that employment "where we would have been without the crash" or "where it should be as a function of population" = employment where we actually were before the crash.

          That assumption, unfortunately, is incorrect.

          We are dealing with both:

          (a) a hit to employment that should be short-term, but is being prolonged due to government austerity bungling (Dems) and malice (GOP);


          (b) long-term, essentially permanent, changes due to automation and offshoring, which mean the US economy may never again provide jobs for as many people (% wise) as it used to.

          This piece by Nobel economics winner Stiglitz is simply indispensable:

          From a previous comment of mine:

          Google Shopping is already testing same-day delivery to homes and has bought BufferBox, a "delivery locker" company.

          Amazon has bought robot company Kiva Systems. Their plan is to have orders put together by teams of robots, each headed by a single human.

          Amazon is also buying up warehouse space in medium-sized cities. Looks like it will soon have next-day delivery standard, with same-day delivery optional. They are also rolling out "delivery lockers" where customers can pick up their Amazon orders at gas stations, drugstores, grocery stores, etc.

          Google's self-driving vehicles are, of course, already well-known.

          What this means is that soon most retail shopping will be done via the web, orders packaged by robots, orders delivered by robots. Most retail jobs will disappear.

          The current brick-and-mortar retail model is going the way of the horse and sailing ship: it will exist in small numbers for the luxury niche only.

          Further reading:

          Even fast food will soon be delivered to your home by robots--the Burrito Bomber is somewhat tongue-in-cheek now, but the FAA anticipates 30,000 domestic non-military UAVs by the end of this decade:

          Our government is fucking up doubly: it's addressing neither the short-term problem nor the long-term problem.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:17:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Automation (0+ / 0-)

            Just means that certain jobs that were once done by people are now done by machines.  This is something economies have been facing since, what, the water wheel?  And more importantly, the Industrial Revolution?  

            The Industrial Revolution was a plus for jobs - it freed up people from menial tasks and allowed them to put their talents to use at more productive positions.  

            I guess if there's a point of divergence on how people view automation, it's this.  You can believe either A) almost everyone has talents that can be put to use in an economy, and given the chance people will put those talents to work, or B) there's a significant amount of people who will have no talents to contribute in a highly automated society, and they will essentially be obsolete and unemployable.  

            Put me in camp A.  Bring on the Burrito Bombers!  I think automation is just the fruition of John Adam's statement:

            I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
            Tiny footnote - it's crazy we don't count stay at home parents as employed.  Paycheck or no paycheck, that's a job.
            •  "In the long run, we're all dead"--Keynes. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Wizard

              You're absolutely right--but only in the long run, which (absent WWII-scale government intervention) will likely be decades.

              Read the Stiglitz piece. It shows how leaps in farm efficiency created the Great Depression, by making millions of former farm workers "surplus." And they remained "surplus" until we went on the humongous Keynesian stimulus program known as World War II. And it shows how the same kind of thing has been going on for the last few decades in manufacturing, and (as I showed above) retail is next.

              Read the Stiglitz piece:

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:48:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Need more Sequester news... (3+ / 0-)

    The media needs to step up to the plate and start highlighting all the bad news that is coming out of the Sequester and labeling it for exactly what it is.

    If we let them get away with it they will just start labeling any old downward trend as part of the slow recovery. The media needs to take responsibility for things and start investigating for a change.

    We are losing ground because the Sequester still exists.

    REPEAL the damn thing and we can move on to recovering jobs like we should have been doing years ago!

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:41:56 AM PDT

  •  Thanks MB (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For doing these posts every month.  It's real yeoman's work you do, and obviously a lot of time goes into it.  Whenever I hear job news somewhere other than here first, I wait to read what you're going to write about it.

    A statistic you sometimes highlight is the amount of jobs needed to keep up with population growth - I think it's something like 100,000.  In my book, that means this month we lost jobs.  (Never mind using a sensible metric, like number of jobs needed per month to return to previous peak employment in, say, a year.  If we counted jobs that way, people would realize what a catastrophe the job market is.  But I guess it's hard to combat the scary sounding-ness of TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT).

  •  I find this data to be complete and utter B.S. (0+ / 0-)

    86,000 jobs added?  Are you frickin kidding me?  Someone's been botching with the data in my view or maybe the data has been reported to be insufficient.

    Either way, I'm not believing a single bit of it because I know the Bay Area (where I live) shouldn't be the least bit affected by this.  We're adding jobs all around, companies are hiring (even Oracle is hiring sales people like mad) and it's been off the hook since last fall.  Start-up comings are growing like crazy and it won't stop.

    Now for other areas n the U.S.?  Well, that's to be determined.  I can't speak for them.

    But assuming this data is in fact accurate.  Well, we know we need to work to defeat all GOP in Congress for re-election one by one!

  •  Sorry 88,000 jobs added (0+ / 0-)

    Still, I've realized that the Bay Area's growth is only one small portion of the economy.

  •  While the sequester formally did not hit until (0+ / 0-)

    March 1, that it was coming has been known in earnest since the beginning of the year, and that may have sapped employers of confidence, particularly defense contractors.

  •  Leadership of both Parties stabbing America in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the back.

    1) Like many others here, I spent my own money and months of my time working during the Bush Administrations to overthrow the Republicans and install Democrats.    In 2009 we had a Democrat in the White House, a huge Democratic supermajority in the House and a filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate.  

    And what was the result?

    2) The Superrich got bailed out,  $7 Trillion in debt was dumped onto the common citizen and we've endured almost 5 years of massive unemployment.  

    A major cause of our recession is that income and wealth have become deeply concentrated in people who have put the money under mattresses in the Cayman Islands -- instead of investing it to provide jobs.   The fix is to confiscate that income and wealth via taxes and give it to the lower 98% percent who will spend it and get the economy going.   Instead, we  extended the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich.

    3) I despise Republican prostitutes.   But I also despise Democrats who think our current situation is acceptable -- who argue that the Democratic leadership is only screwing us 93% whereas the Evil Republicans would screw us 95%  and so we should give unquestioning obedience and support to the current leadership instead of trying to reform the Party.

    4) If Obama was like FDR he would have put the Republicans in the wilderness for 40 years for what they did when they were in power -- instead,  he was totally silent for a year while the Tea Party Astroturf spread their lying propaganda and the Republicans were back in control of the White House 2 years later.

    5) SilverOz argument above that labor force participation is due to baby boomers going into golden retirement is utter crap -- most boomers no longer have the savings to retire.   As at least one commentator has noted today,  this longlived recession ensures that many baby boomers are going to be in deep poverty 10 years hence --even if Medicare and Social Security are not cut.

    6) But , hey, Bill Clinton has $40 million net worth last time I checked.   Maybe he and Citigroup's Sandy Weill can explain how that financial deregulation they passed with  Republican Senator Phil Gramm back in 1999 will bring on a golden age of prosperity shortly.

    7) There is one thing worse than an enemy that attacks you from the front --it is an enemy that takes command of your outrage and anger just so that they can lead you off a cliff and leave you impotent, impoverished, embittered and deeply depressed.

  •  What kind of a Party of the People would be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    pushing for the admission of millions  of immigrants -- and handing out H1 visas to let wealthy corporations bring in cheap foreign labor -- while we have 26 million unemployed American workers?

  •  Awesome news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    88,000 jobs added is better then 87,000 jobs, if we can Net 88,000 jobs per month unemployment will be under 1% by the time Hillary takes office in 2017.  
    Which also means I too will soon find a job and not have to take my MBA for retraining in burger flipping.  
    Lets keep this train rolling.

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