See Much of a Trend?

The BLS jobs report shows a trend that’s years from a recovery.

Total nonfarm payroll employment up 916,000 in March, and the unemployment rate edged down to 6.0 percent. But when you unpack things, it’s a bit squishy.

The 916K was led by gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction.

Leisure and hospitality took 280,000 of the total. Construction grabbed 110,000 while government schools claimed 76,000.

Let’s look back a year to see what the trend was then – 347,000 in March 2020 which was essentially continuing the flatline from Summer 2019.

When you throw in the U-6 and the “not in the workforce but looking” cohort, that 6.0 percent unemployment looks more like 13.4% – reinforcing the “flatline” trend.

Teachers finally going back to work, construction projects restarted, and hospitality reopening – not anything related to “America back to work”. After all, we’re still seeing jobless claims north of 700K.

Like a year ago, we’re still ~10 million jobs short of the labor top.

And today’s leading gigs are not going to drive the labor market anywhere.

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