Another Dismal Jobs Report


imagesPutting lipstick on this pig doesn’t wash. One analyst said March data was miserable from every angle. Economist David Rosenberg called it “one soft US jobs report.” It “quash(ed) the consensus view of economic re-acceleration.”

It “adds validity to the view that the supply-side ‘secular’ non-inflationary growth potential (underwent) a profound decline this cycle.” The inflationary consequences will show up later, he added.

Aggregate demand remains fundamentally weak. Nonfarm payrolls added 88,000 jobs. Doing so was less than half consensus estimates. The broader household survey shed 206,000 jobs. It was its worst read since July 2011.

The population/payroll/concept-adjusted component puts the household survey on a comparable footing to nonfarm payrolls. It slid 118,000. It was the second decline this year.

Part-time employment rose. It did so at the expense of high pay/good benefit full-time jobs. For years, they’ve been offshored to low wage countries.

Paul Craig Roberts says America’s heading for third world status. It’s well on the way toward it. A protracted Main Street Depression continues.

Force-fed austerity worsens it. Real unemployment’s 23%. Poverty or close to it affects half of US households. Record numbers need food stamps.

U-3 March unemployment fell 0.1%. It did so because the civilian labor force contracted 496,000. Household survey data shed 663,000. Workers unable to find jobs dropped out. Doing so reflects economic sickness.

In the past three months alone, more than one million workers dropped out. Current figures stand at an unprecedented 90 million. Economies in Depression reflect these figures. For the past year, longterm unemployment’s stood near 40% of total numbers without work.

Cyclically-sensitive sectors showed great weakness. Manufacturing lost 3,000 jobs. It was its first setback since last September. It suggests bigger declines ahead. Sequester cuts alone assure it.

Retailing shed 24,000 jobs. It was the most since February 2012. Heavy construction slid 8,800. It was its worst showing last May last year.

Financials fell 2,000. It was the first sector loss since September 2011.

Diffusion indices measure job growth dispersion. They were dismal. Total private employment fell from February’s 59.6 to 54.3. Doing so hit a seven-month low. Manufacturing contracted from 54. 3 to 46.3. It was the weakest in six months.

Without administration/waste services, education/health and leisure/hospitality sectors, the economy’s remaining 70% generated no employment growth.

Growth potential appears well south of 1%. America’s civilian labor participation rate fell to 63.3%. It’s down 0.5% year-over-year. It’s 2.4% lower than June 2009, the recessionary trough.

It’s the lowest it’s been since May 1979. In 1973-75, 1981-82, and 1990-91 (three past recessionary periods), labor force participation rates were flat. Sharp rebounds followed. Human capital no longer matters. That sentiment reflects deplorable third world economic conditions.

The Economic Policy Institute called March data “a big negative surprise.” It underscores no “robust jobs recovery.” Returning to “pre-recession unemployment rate in three years, (requires) add(ing) 320,000 jobs every single month….”

Labor market slack reflects a nine million jobs deficit. Unemployment is unconscionably high. Wage growth is weak. Faltering economic growth teeters toward heading south. Hard times keep getting harder. Workers wanting jobs unable to find them reflects it.

A Wall Street Journal editorial headlined “Making Work Not Pay,” saying:

March numbers were “lousy.” Trend data reflect the weakest ever modern recovery. The jobless rate keeps falling because labor force numbers keep shrinking.

Five workers quit looking for every one finding jobs. If Obama “can convince another three million or so Americans to leave the job market, (he’ll) be able to hail ‘full employment.’ ”

Since the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared recession’s mid-2009 end, 113,000 fewer monthly jobs were created during normal recovery times.

If job creation kept pace with typical expansions, another 4.2 million Americans would be working. Instead, hundreds of thousands drop out monthly. Hard times get harder. America’s indeed on a fast track toward third world status.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960.   After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring at year end 1999.   Supporting progressive causes and organizations, he began writing in summer 2005 on a broad range of issues. Topics regularly addressed include war and peace; social, economic and political equity; and justice for long-suffering peoples globally - notably, victims of America's imperial wars, Occupied Palestinians and Haitians.In early 2007, he began hosting his own radio program. Currently he hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. Airing three times weekly, it features distinguished guests discussing vital world and national issues in depth.Today perhaps more than ever, vital social, political and economic change is needed. What better way to spend retirement years than working for it. We owe at least that much to our loved ones, friends and humanity.