June 1, 2012

The May Employment Situation Summary (060112): 8.2% Unemployment Rate; 69K SA Jobs Added, Previous Months Brought Down 49K

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:44 am

Today will again be dominated by unavailability, so I won’t be updating this month’s employment report post in real time.

AP carried a prediction that 158,000 jobs will be added and the unemployment rate stay at 8.1%. Bloomberg is at 150K and 8.1%.

(Go to this link for last month’s graphic for context) I believe the raw number of jobs adds needs to be at least 1.25 million jobs overall and 1 million in the private sector for the month to be considered acceptable, regardless of what the seasonally adjusted values are. I don’t think we’re going to see anything close to either number.

Also, keep an eye on the Birth/Death adjustment, which seems to believe that a wave of new start-ups generating all kinds of not provable employment (and in many cases eventually not found, despite expectations) is occurring. The adjustment added 172K, 211K, and 206K jobs in April 2011, May 2011, and April 2012, respectively, to the raw numbers before seasonal adjustment.

The BLS report will be here at 8:30 a.m.


UPDATE, 9:45 a.m.: O … M … G:

Nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+69,000), and the unemployment rate
was essentially unchanged at 8.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Employment increased in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale
trade but declined in construction. Employment was little changed in most other major

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons (12.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.2
percent) changed little in May.

… The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) rose from 5.1
to 5.4 million in May. These individuals accounted for 42.8 percent of the unemployed.

… Household Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in May (+69,000), following a similar
change in April (+77,000). In comparison, the average monthly gain was 226,000 in the
first quarter of the year. In May, employment rose in health care, transportation and
warehousing, and wholesale trade, while construction lost jobs.

… Construction employment declined by 28,000 in May, with job losses occurring in specialty
trade contractors (-18,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000).
Since reaching a low in January 2011, employment in construction has shown little change
on net.

… The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +154,000 to
+143,000, and the change for April was revised from +115,000 to +77,000.

Seasonally adjusted, only 20,000 more people (June’s 69K minus April’s and March’s 38K and 11K downward adjustments) were estimated to be working in May than were estimated to be working in April.

Thanks to Steve in the comments, we know that the raw numbers fell way short of where they needed to come in, and that seasonally adjusted additions in the private sector were 80K. I think the seasonal adjustment may have cut Team Obama a break in the context of the last time we had normal seasonality (i.e. about 2004-2007), but that will require a closer look later.

Birth/Death job adds made up 204K of the 789K overall job adds on the ground. Sure they did.

UPDATE 2: Really, you can’t make this stuff up. At AP right now, Christopher Rugaber writes: “The U.S. economy suddenly looks a lot weaker.” Suddenly? Those of us in Realville either mostly recognized it, or mostly predicted it.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: 3 rescued from plane crash site in remote Idaho

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Boise, Idaho:

Hours after their plane crashed on a steep and snowy mountainside in Idaho, a California fireman, his wife and their daughter were airlifted to safety by National Guard rescuers.

The family was en route from California to Mountain Home, Idaho, when their Cessna 172 went down Saturday night, leaving them with head and back injuries, officials said.

One of them used a cellphone just after midnight to report that they had survived the crash.

A medical helicopter located the wreckage Sunday morning, but whiteout conditions prevented the aircraft crew from carrying out an immediate rescue, said Col. Tim Marsano of the Idaho National Guard.

Rescuers who walked through 6-foot snowdrifts and on 60-degree slopes reached the crash site first. They wrapped the family members in blankets and built a fire until a military helicopter could lift them out with a hoist.

“It was inhospitable for a landing,” Marsano said. “The use of the helicopter was indispensable for this type of rescue operation.”

The three were flown one at a time to a landing area about a half-mile from War Eagle Mountain in southwest Idaho’s Owyhee County. They were later flown to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where they remain in stable condition Monday.

It’s unclear what caused the Cessna to go down. Photos taken by rescuers showed significant damage, including a broken front windshield.

Authorities identified the family as Brian Brown of Wilton, Calif., his wife Jayann Brown, and their adult daughter, whose name was not immediately available. They declined to be interviewed Monday, said hospital spokeswoman Elizabeth Duncan. …

Go here for the rest of the story.