US Employment Report: Bedpans, Burgers and Short Hours

The American economy added 215,000 jobs in March, mostly at the bottom of the wage spectrum. Healthcare and social assistance accounted for 44,000 jobs, retail trade for 48,000, and leisure/hospitaly for 40,000. Manufacturing and mining, usually better-paid sectors, meanwhile lost 41,000 jobs. This continues the pattern of the last couple of years, with steady employment growth in low-skilled and low-paid occupations combined with attribution in the goods-producing sector.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow tracking model, which projects GDP growth based on the most recent data announcements, puts first-quarter US GDP growth at just 0.6% annualized. Seasonally-adjusted employment grew at an annualized rate of 0.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That suggests a fall in Q1 labor productivity.

 

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Categories: Asia Unhedged, David P. Goldman