Friday, June 04, 2004

More New Jobs? Under Bush?!?!?

Well, well, well, what do we have here.

WASHINGTON - U.S. employers added almost a quarter million workers in May, extending a nine-month hiring spree and accommodating enough new jobseekers to hold the unemployment rate steady at 5.6 percent.

Payrolls swelled by almost 1 million in the last three months alone, the Labor Department (news - web sites) said Friday. Employment figures for March and April were revised up to reflect the addition of 353,000 and 346,000 jobs respectively.

I detest economics being attributed to presidential administrations, but since this is an election, when in Rome...

Regarding growth over the last 3 months, not bad. Since many anti-Bush cheerleaders were counting on the 'worst job growth since the depression' mantra to push Lurch over the edge, Kerry might have to formulate some plans that do not include retracting the Bush tax cuts. There's still work to be done, especially as more and more people start to get back into the workforce, but good none-the-less.

Nevertheless, the snapshot of America's employment situation in May met the expectations of most private analysts and fueled anticipation of an increase in interest rates when the Federal Reserve (news - web sites) meets at the end of this month. The Fed's main interest rate has been at a 46-year low of 1 percent, but analysts expect that to end with the jobs market steadily gaining steam.

Good and bad here. The Fed will wait for a true sustainable picture to develop before announcing a rate increase. And in my opinion, the rate increase will be rather weak, possibly 25-50 basis points. The markets are factoring in something a little higher, but that gives them more upside if the Fed comes in lower. Greenspan was just reappointed by Bush Jr, and one has to think he has the 1992 election in the back of Greenspan rallies the troops to support his viewpoint. Still think the increase is a little while off.

Hiring last month was widespread....The struggling manufacturing sector also is reawakening, adding 32,000 new jobs last month. It was the fourth straight month of payroll increases after almost three years of continuous losses.

Always nice to see broad growth, and it even includes the dreaded manufacturing sector. I understand that sector is important to the Midwest, but seriously, how long before it becomes a lost cause in this country?

Still, the economy is far from the booming 1990s. Last month, 8.2 million people remained unemployed. While the overall jobless rate stayed at 5.6 percent, it was much higher among blacks, at 9.9 percent and Hispanics, at 7 percent.

There it is, the negative side. Read that paragraph, a few times if necessary. See the problem with this author's (and many American's logic)? He's comparing 2004 to the colossal bubble years of the late 90s? That's incredibly stupid, and yet it persists all over the place. (come to expect this from atrios though)

Want a good comparison, try the historical average. You'll see that we're right where we want to be.

The report "is welcome news for American workers who are enduring the most prolonged jobs slump since the 1930s," said Rep. Pete Stark of California, the top Democrat on Congress' Joint Economic Committee. "But we still have a jobs deficit, and most of the economic growth we have seen has fattened businesses' balance sheets, not workers' paychecks."

Must be an election year. I guess the concept of businesses increasing capital, cash, etc. in order to then REINVEST in company operations, employment, etc. is too complex for Stark to understand. Go figure, he's only the head of the JEC. Sad.

Anyone know of a business that once it gets back into the black, immediately increases it's bottom line with new capital and employees? Please let me know so that I can SHORT their stock.

All in all, not a bad report. Not quite as strong as previous months, but expect it to be revised upwards, just as March and April were.