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No evidence of significant improvement in the US employment situation [ClearOnMoney]
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No evidence of significant improvement in the US employment situation

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Commentary

No evidence of significant improvement in the US employment situation

3 May 2013 by Jim Fickett.

Most of the employment situation headlines today were fairly upbeat, based on the monthly change in the number of jobs (technically, non-farm payrolls). The monthly increase was 165,000, well above the number of new jobs needed to keep pace with population growth. However this number is so imprecise as to be nearly meaningless. Remember how last month there was much wailing over the monthly increase of 88,000? That number was revised up to 138,000 in this release, and this month's number could just as well be revised downward next month. It is far better to look at the year-over-year change, which changes relatively little with the revisions. The year-over-year change shows job growth that is quite anemic by the standards of previous recoveries and, furthermore, the rate of job growth seems to be in a downtrend:

There are two other data series for which the year-over-year change tends to lead the year-over-year change in non-farm payrolls. Both of these series look a tad better than they did last month, but both fail to inspire any optimism about jobs growth overall.

(For more graphs, background, sources, and past commentary, see the Reference page US employment and its subsidiary pages.)