Photoshop credit: Les James
The latest Obama Jobs Death Toll report is out today. There’s a smidgen of good news mixed in with mostly continuing gloom.
Payrolls increased by 244,000 workers last month, the biggest gain since May 2010, after a revised 221,000 gain the prior month, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Economists projected an April rise of 185,000, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Employment excluding government jobs jumped the most in five years. The jobless rate rose to 9 percent, the first increase since November.
…The unemployment rate was projected to hold at 8.8 percent, according to the survey median. Private hiring, which excludes government agencies, rose by 268,000 in April, more than the 200,000 median forecast in the Bloomberg survey and the most since February 2006, after a 231,000 increase in March. The separate survey of households showed the size of the labor force was little changed in April and employment shrank by 190,000. That pushed the share of the population in the labor force down to 58.4 percent from 58.5 percent a month earlier.
Government payrolls decreased by 24,000 last month. Local government employment dropped by 14,000.
Factory payrolls increased by 29,000 last month, more than the survey forecast of a 20,000 gain, after a 22,000 rise in March.
The New York Times shakes its pom-poms: Hurray for 9 percent unemployment!
Buried at the bottom of the article entitled “Strong Jobs Report Shows U.S. Economy Gaining Steam” is the sober reality:
While better than expected, Friday’s numbers still offered a few cautionary signs that the national economy had a long way to go. Though down from its peak of 10.1 percent in late 2009, April’s unemployment rate reflects only those Americans who are still actively looking for work.
And while any job creation is a positive, last month’s growth was barely enough to absorb people entering the work force in the United States, much less to quickly shrink the unemployment rolls.
“Without acceleration in job growth, the economy is unlikely to achieve the sustainable growth trajectory that is typical of an economy that is supposedly in its second year of recovery and technically has transitioned into expansion,” said Steven Ricchiuto, the chief economist for Mizuho Securities USA.
About 13.7 million people were out of work in April, among them 5.8 million people who have been jobless for six months or longer. In March, the number of people who were unemployed was 13.5 million, with 6.1 million of them considered the long-term unemployed. In April, about 64.2 percent of adults were either in the work force or looking for a job, the fourth consecutive month it has been at that level, which is the lowest labor participation rate in a quarter-century.
Financial journalist Jim Pethokoukis reminds us that the “2009 pro-stimulus Bernstein-Romer chart predicted unemployment would be around 6.5 percent at this point in 2011.”
Cue Pelosi circa March 2010: “I love numbers. They are so precise.”