A disaster… That is all that can be used to describe (politely) the May jobs data. The unemployment rate came out as an official 9.7%, meeting estimates. But the non-Farm Payrolls data is where this gets messy. The payrolls added 431,000 jobs, which would be a whopper of a number under normal circumstances. The problem is that Dow Jones had a consensus of 515,000 payrolls added. Some were hoping for even north of 550,000 jobs created. And the sad notion is that Uncle Sam accounted for almost all of these gains via temporary Census workers.
April’s reading of 290,000 was left as is. Of all the jobs created, 411,000 temporary workers were effectively added to the census counting. Only 41,000 jobs were created by the private sector.
Part of the breakdown shows that professional and business services rose by 22,000 jobs, and manufacturing added in 29,000 jobs. Construction lost 35,000 jobs in May. Total government employment of local and national workers rose a net 390,000.
Those fortunate enough to have jobs also are not making much more money. Average hourly wages rose by only $0.07 to $22.57.
If this doesn’t shut Hoenig up about immediate rate hikes, nothing else will. If you have an encounter with a Census worker, remember that he or she works for you and effectively adds nothing to society other than headcounts and statistics about your local area.
JON C. OGG