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 The April Nonfarm payrolls were just released, and they were gangbusters!

290,000 new jobs were added.  Only 66,000 of those were census jobs, meaning that 224,000 non-census jobs were created.  February was revised upward 53,000.  March was revised up 68,000.
A total of 573,000 jobs have been added to the economy since the bottom in December of last year.  This is far stronger growth than in eaither of the "jobless recoveries."

195,000 people re-entered the workforce, driving the unemployment rate up to 9.9%.

More below the fold and I will update with graphs and further data as soon as they come in.

More from the Bureau of Labor Services:

The Household Survey records the unemployment rate, among other items.

The unemployment rate did rise to 9.9%, but is still below its high from last autumn:

The more inclusive U-6 unemployment rate (which includes discouraged workers and those working part-time for economic reasons) came in at 17.1% for an increase of .2%. (h/t Silver Oz).

 - total unemployed persons were 15.3 million.

 - long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) con-
tinued to trend up over the month, reaching 6.7 million. In April, 45.9 percent of unemployed persons had been jobless for 27 weeks or more.

 - the number of reentrants to the labor force among the unemployed rose by 195,000 over the month.

 - In April, the civilian labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage point to 65.2 percent, as the size of the labor force rose by 805,000. Since December, the participation rate has increased by 0.6 percentage point. The employment-population ratio rose to 58.8 percent over the month and has increased by 0.6 percentage point since December.

 - Finally, the household survey of employment showed 505,000 new jobs added.  Since December, this survey has shown growth of 1.6 million new jobs.

Bottom line from the Household survey:  as the economy improves, more people are re-entering the workforce, driving the unemployment rate up.  The one bad sign is the continuig increase in the long-term unemployed (Congress:  Create a new WPA NOW!)

The separate Establishment survey is used to calculate payrolls.  There was across-the-board excellent news here, as job gains were widespread:

 -  Manufacturing added 44,000 jobs.  Gains occurred in several durable goods industries, including fabricated metals (9,000) and machinery (7,000). Employment also grew in nondurable goods manufacturing (14,000).
 - Mining added 7,000 jobs.
 - Construction employment edged up (14,000), following an increase of 26,000 in March. Over the month, nonresidential building and heavy construction added 9,000 jobs each.
 - Employment in professional and business services rose by 80,000        
 - Temporary help services continued to add jobs (26,000);  
 - Employment also rose over the month in ser-
vices to buildings and dwellings (23,000) and in computer systems design (7,000).
 - Health care employment grew by 20,000, including a gain of 6,000 in hospi-
 - Employment rose by 45,000 in leisure and hospitality
 - Federal government employment was up in April, reflecting the hiring of 66,000 temporary workers for the decennial census.
 - Over the month, employment changed little in wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and financial activities.
 - Employment in transportation and warehousing fell by 20,000

This is just excellent news.  That temporary help continues to add jobs is a leading indicator meaning we should expect further job growth in the months ahead.  That the census was only responsible for 66,00 of the 290,000 gain is particularly good news.

 In other aspects:

 - the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.1 hours.
 - The manufacturing workweek for all employees increased by 0.2 hour for the second straight month to 40.1 hours,
 - factory overtime was up by 0.1 hour over the month.
 - The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory em-
ployees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.4 hours
 -  Average hourly earnings of all employees in the private nonfarm sector increased by 1 cent to $22.47, a 1.6% increase YoY.
 - average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $18.96.

The increase in manufacturing hours and overtime is also particularly welcome as these too are leading indicators for future job growth.

This was the best report we have had in about 3 years -- the only imperfections were the rise in the unemployment rate, stagnant wages adjusted for inflation, and the continuing catsrophe of the long term unemployed.  

As a postscript, since pace Bonddad, we are in the "I told you so" mode," let me add that back in September, when the economy was still shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, I wrote a series entitled When will the economy start to add jobs?  After reviewing 6 "leading indicators" specifically for job growth, I said:

Based on my analysis above, November or December are when I believe that turning point will be reached, plus or minus one month in either direction. Let me be the first to acknowledge that this is not a scientific truth or certainty, but a best estimate based on a logical review of existing data with a long history that accommodates both traditional and "jobless" recoveries.

With the relase of today's data, my endeavor has been completely vindicated.  December 2009 was exactly the bottom for jobs, a prediction that was far more optimistic than most in the MSM and, needless to say, more optimistic than it was politically correct to say at this site.  But a call that was 100% correct.  This "recovery" was not jobless for long, and as of now, job growth is beginning to acquire a V-ish tinge.

Also, a couple of weeks ago I went out on a limb and said that real retail sales, the "Holy Grail" of job growth, were forecasting much stronger job growth than was being generally predicted for the remainder of this year.  Last Friday I put together the graph of the latest real retail YoY growth numbers (green), with the updated GDP through Q1 2010 (blue), and compare with YoY payroll growth (through last month):

As of now, we are only down 1% in jobs from a year ago, so that red line has gone up dramatically.  So that call as well is looking better and better.

Originally posted to New Deal democrat on Fri May 07, 2010 at 05:38 AM PDT.


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