Unemployment Grows to 9%, But Jobs Creation Passes Expectations

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The Labor Department just gave the markets and the economy some good news and bad news in its employment data this morning.  The headline data will look bad as unemployment rose, but that might be just coming back in line with reality after some of the unemployment rate drops were mysteries. Unemployment for April came in at 9.0% versus Bloomberg consensus of 8.8%.

The change in non-farm payrolls came in at a much higher than expected +244,000 and Bloomberg had expectations of about 185,000. 

The change in private sector payrolls came in at 268,000 versus Bloomberg expectations of about 200,000.  Here is the dilemma, we want governments to cut spending, but what if it keeps cutting jobs endlessly?

The change in average hourly earnings rose by 0.1%.

What was a changing event was yesterday’s huge jump in the weekly jobless claims to 474,000 and the rise in the prior week’s continuing jobless claims.  When Ben Bernanke gave his post-FOMC press conference he noted that the US labor force was still more than 7 million jobs short of where it was before the recession.

JON C. OGG