Friday, May 4, 2012

The Obama Recovery rages forward

Some highlights from today's release of The Employment Situation - April 2012 from the BLS, with my clarifications in italics:
  • "Both the number of unemployed persons (12.5 million) and the unemployment rate (8.1 percent) changed little in April."  The number of unemployed fell by 173 thousand and the unemployment rate fell by 0.1.  It is the drop of 342 thousand people in the labor force that explains the drop in the unemployment rate.
  • "Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April. This increase followed a gain of 154,000 in March and gains averaging 252,000 per month for December to February."  Job growth failed to keep up with population growth. We need to be averaging at least 450,000 per month to climb out of this hole, and it appears that the three "strong" months from earlier in the year were an anomoly.
  • "The civilian labor force participation rate declined in April to 63.6 percent, while the employment to population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little."  Actually, the employment to population ratio fell by 0.1, which is not insignificant. 
As I have posted about several times, all of the relevant information is captured by the employment to population ratio, which has been stagnant since late 2009.