Friday, May 16, 2008

Seasonal employment 

The StarTribune announces that Minnesota lost 10,400 jobs in April. About a third of those jobs were in construction. So I went to look up the data, and the first thing I notice is that they are using the seasonally adjusted time series. When you look at the non-seasonally adjusted data, we added 24,650 jobs, including 6,319 in construction. It's worth noting two things: Easter came early, shifting some seasonal retail and leisure economic activity into March; and it was a cold, wet and snowy April. The latter would help explain the shortfall in construction versus a normal April.

That would be the demand side. The supply side is also interesting. From the STrib article:
In the past 12 months, Minnesota has added 19,000 jobs -- or an average of about 1,580 every month, noted Oriane Casale, DEED assistant director of labor market information. "We'd need to add about 2,539 jobs per month to keep up with population growth," she said. "However, there is evidence that [Minnesota's] population is growing slower that the demographer's office projected."
The unemployment rate has held almost constant over the last year, with 24,000 more workers in the labor force. So are we just not adding more workers to the labor force, or are there workers out there waiting to be employed? There have been fairly small fluctuations in the employment-population ratio. I'm still good with my call of a short and shallow recession.

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