Monthly jobs stats: Connecting the dots reveals a bunch of connected dots

So, there you are sitting at your computer or scanning your smart phone or electronic notebook, trying to make sense of today’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

USA Today is dutifully reporting: “Payrolls grew at a disappointing pace for a second month in April as employers added just 115,000 jobs” and the unemployment rate fell from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent, the lowest rate since January 2009. But that’s only because 342,000 Americans gave up looking for work.

By taking a really close look at the numbers buried in the BLS report, you’ll get … well, eye strain.

Here is a snapshot of the main numbers with both the seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted figures:

BLS May 4 jobs stats

Download the whole pdf here: BLS May stats

While the press release shows 119 non-farm jobs added, and that figure is elsewhere in the report, the seasonally adjusted total number of employed persons from March to April actually fell by 169,000, while over on the non-adjusted side of the chart the number of employed grew by 583,000. But the number not in the labor force grew by 591,000.

The only consistent element is that the percent of people in the labor force ā€” those with jobs and those seeking jobs ā€” continues to slide month to month.

If you can find something revealing in this mass of stats, please let me know.


7 comments on “Monthly jobs stats: Connecting the dots reveals a bunch of connected dots

  1. Bill says:

    Tell a lie long enough and the people will believe it..

  2. You throw enough chaff into the air, Bill, and no one can find a target.


  3. Bill says:

    You said “chaff” – being a country boy I prefer BS.

  4. Chaff is what they throw out of planes to avoid heat-seeking missiles.


  5. Steve says:

    If the stock market is any indication, this report is not good.

  6. Steve says:

    Tonight we have the AP reporting:

    “Jobs report sends oil to biggest drop in 6 months”

    I just scanned the article but it appears the headline says it all and the article glosses it over. But the last line does not bode well for us.

    “The problems plaguing the U.S. economy are much bigger than the oil price,” Dwarkin said.

    When we get the economic sniffles the world get pnuemonia. Hello November.

  7. Bruce Feher says:

    The problems plauguing the U.S. economy is the U.S. Government! End of story!

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