U.S. Jobs Rise Sharply but Unemployment Rate Up

Employment statistics announced by the federal government today (May 6) are a mixed bag, but they are initially pleasing Wall Street, as stock prices soar in early trading. However, it is not clear that the numbers will please Main Street. The nation added 244,000 jobs in April; economists had expected 175,00. All the gains were in the private sector; government hiring declined. However, the unemployment rate rose to 9% from 8.8% in March because more Americans were looking for jobs in April, joining the labor force. Generally, the jobs gain is the best since 2006. But some statistics don't look so rosy. Government compiles the data by going to employers and also doing a survey of households. The household survey showed a decline of 190,000 jobs. The average workweek was flat and average hourly earnings only inched up 0.1% to $22.95. The net birth/death adjustment model, which is completely a computerized estimate involving no actual data, contributed 1.169 million jobs, theoretically. This purports to estimate the number of jobs from new businesses minus the number of such jobs disappearing. This could have swelled today's employment numbers. The nation has now recovered only 20% of the jobs lost in the Great Recession.

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jobs are up, unemployment is up, its a race to see who can get things back to the start first.

Depends on the jobs being created.

McDonalds just hired 62K new employees, they has over 1 MILLION!! applications.

There is nothing wrong with ANY job, including McD's,but I would suggest thsoe jobs are mostly part time, pay minimal wages, probably offer little or most likely no benefits, and are not the kind of jobs that can sustain a middle class lifestyle or strong economic growth.

Furtheremore, by using a U-3 UE rate which is bogus and masks the true bonafide UE rate, the stat is meaningless.

McDonald’s did hire 62,000 people last month, but that was on April 19, in a one-day recruiting program nationwide.

Those hires wouldn’t have counted in the U.S. job tally because the government’s monthly survey of employers, which is used to determine net job gains or losses, was done the previous week, said Joe LaVorgna, economist at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York.


I agree, just more "feel good" headline numbers to make the masses believe that some "regular" folks somewhere are doing OK these days.

It will be along hot summer, as folks try and do without AC and I expect to see many more vocal folks demanding CHANGE...

We all must realize that it will be a long, long climb back out of this. Today's purportedly good numbers are barely better than what is needed to take care of population growth. Best, Don Bauder

RE: a long, long climb back out of this.

I remember when Spring was THE time to get a job (even for the upcoming Summer) and suggest the lyrics "Slip sliding away" as a better description of our current UE workers quest...

McD might hire lots of folks, but I believe that they will be short term jobs at the lower end of the pay scale.

I'd like to see a financial based job indicator, say jobs paying $40,000 to $90,000 (with benefits) as that is what most folks applying for a "job" are looking for... Given our current dismal fiscal climate, I bet this new indicator would show a more realistic UE percentage of at least 35%.

I keep repeating this, but it's important: banks are holding back on lending (other than to hedge funds and the like) because fast lending would lead to rip-roaring inflation. The Fed has told the banks to lend very cautiously for that reason. Most important: Bernanke has said that as long as unemployment remains high, he will continue loaning money to banks for almost zero percent. Does Wall Street want unemployment to fall? Goodness, no. It would lose the zero percent money. So just about the most powerful lobbying bloc, Wall Street, wants unemployment to remain high so it can get money at near-zero rates. Employment growth has no political constituency. Best, Don Bauder

I guess they should change their name to : WALL $TREET

How about this: Pickpocket Haven. Best, Don Bauder

We all must realize that it will be a long, long climb back out of this.

We're no better off today than we were in 2007.

I predict we will be in the same boat in 2013 as we are right now.

The Investment Banks own the gov regulators and they have wiped out the indutrial base that drives the backbone-and tax base- of America.

It does look like housing will experience a double-dip. Employment is not likely to grow significantly. The problem is that the Fed is concentrating on helping the stock market rise to enrich the top 10%, particularly the top 1%. Despite everything Bernanke says, he doesn't give a hoot for Main Street. The rock-bottom interest rates are benefitting Wall Street, but average people can't borrow at low rates and they get extremely low returns on their savings accounts. Thus, the already-obscene gap between the top 1% and the rest of Americans keeps widening. So do the grins on Wall Street's and Bernanke's face. Best, Don Bauder

I've been watching the US$, the Peso, the Euro, the Canadian$ and the British Pound for several months and the Peso is getting stronger while all the others remain the same...

Maybe the US has agreed to remain "fixed" (no pun intended) until other Countries OK the change...

Generally speaking, the U.S.. dollar declines as stocks go up. That's not necessarily true on a day-by-day basis, but is definitely a trend. The party ends when the dollar has plunged too far, repulsing the nations that buy it. Best, Don Bauder

I'll worry when the drug cartels start refusing to accepy U.S.dollars as payment.

not much stronger. The peso was 11.6365 on Friday, 3 months ago it was 11.9754, 6 months ago it was 12.3670, a year ago it was 12.5916

I can remember when San Diegans followed the peso avidly -- putting money in Mexican banks until a sharp devaluation gave their savings a massive haircut. That was 30 years or so ago. Best, Don Bauder

Yes, if the drug cartels won't accept U.S. dollars, we have problems. Best, Don Bauder

Au contraire, if the Mexican drug cartels will no longer accept dollars, we would benefit. When you cannot buy some commodity with the coin of the realm, you do without, or barter. We would do well to have less weed, meth, coke, heroin, and whatever other delights come into the US courtesy of Mexico. It's not clear what US tweakers and heads could use to barter with Mexico for drugs. They might find something really pernicious, but nothing is better than plain old money, especially in this age of electronic funds transfer. All else is bulky, hard to transport, perishable and readily stolen while being moved.

I don't believe I specified Mexican drug cartels and I'm not referring to the retail level of drug sales Cartels around the world deal in US dollars.

There are a lot of cartels besides drug cartels. I have always suspected that one reason we went into Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein is that he had started trading oil in euros. Best, Don Bauder

The U.S. as a whole might be better off if the cartel wouldn't accept dollars, and therefore traffic fell off, but realistically, a dollar so shaky that the crooks won't take it is scary indeed. Best, Don Bauder

Is there anyone else in this big square world who voluntarily listens to economic lectures?

Well, if there are, please try this one:

Capitalism Hits the Fan, Richard Wolff (2010)


The description of the history of how we've got here is worth listening to.

(BTW, for other regular commentors: www.fora.tv, like www.ted.com, is often enlightening. No, I don't endorse or agree with everything someone in a video lecture is saying, I'm linking this lecture because it's relevant to the discussion and a point of view that reflects SOME (no, not all) of what the esteemed Mr. Bauder is saying. If you like, pass it along...if you disagree, please state why. And if Don is willing to listen and comment...I'm willing to read and learn. ;-)



Wolff is a professor known for his work on "Marxian" economics. He has done some excellent research on income disparities. He should not be dismissed simply because of his "Marxian" bent; I don't know that he is a Marxist per se, but he does explain our current problems in class terms. And, unfortunately, we have created something similar to a class system in America as the massive chasm between the superrich and the rest of society widens as a result of official Federal Reserve and Treasury Department policy and business shortsightedness. So don't dismiss Wolff because people call him a Marxist. Whether he is a Marxist or a neo-Marxist or whatever, he is saying what many very conservative economists like A. Gary Shilling say: as worker income flattened in the last 30 years, there was a borrowing binge. It threatens our stability. I can argue with Wolff on several things, particularly when he says this is not a financial crisis, then talks about credit cards, banks, corporations serving as banks, etc. That's financial.

Its funny to me how folks get labels for trying to explain what is happening to the US when in fact it is alway a new mix that is the current cause of our problems!

You're right. Marx has been dead for more than a century, but "Marxist" is still a pejorative even though the environment has changed greatly. Best, Don Bauder

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