Friday, January 4, 2008

Employment Up 18,000

From the BLS:

The unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent in December, while nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (+18,000), the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Job growth in several service-providing industries, including professional and technical services, health care, and food services, was largely offset by job losses in construction and manufacturing. Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents, or 0.4 percent.

Manufacturing lost 31,000 and construction lost 49,000. That should be no surprise.

Retail lost 24,000. That's very interesting considering we just got done with the Christmas shopping season.

Professional was up 43,000 and education/health was up 44,000.

Short version: this number stinks all the way around; there is no upside. For people that have been arguing for a recession it adds a ton of fuel to the fire.