Monday, April 5, 2010

Workers Aren't Really Working Now............

Christ may have died on Good Friday, but the American worker was born again, says the latest jobs report from the Labor Department. The U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in March. CNN trumpeted, “Finally! Job Growth Returns.”
Ian Mathias, Intrepid researcher and co-conspirator here at The 5, took a closer look on Friday… for the critical investor, parsing these data is like shooting fish in a barrel. Here are the CliffsNotes:
Roughly half the monthly job creation was in temporary employment. 48,000 were new Census hires, another 40,000 in run-of-the-mill temp work
The headline unemployment rate stayed put at 9.7%
~The underemployment rate actually increased 0.1% percentage points, to 16.9%
~Average hourly earnings fell 0.1%, while average work weeks rose 0.1 hour
~February snowstorms put an atypical skew on March job growth… essentially, the entire Mid- Atlantic bumped planned February hires into March.
And don’t forget all the usual footnotes… margin of error, birth/death model, seasonal adjusting, yada, blah, etc.
We wish the best for the American worker. And, he, the consumer, too. But to celebrate either of their resurrections now would be premature.

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