Friday, February 05, 2010
I'll cover it more then, but I would take some time to read David Altig, Menzie Chinn, and Mike Shedlock and the links they provide. You have three things going on this month that may be slowing others down (and IS slowing me down): We had a revised format of the report, the annual benchmarking, and a change in population controls. That's wonk-speak for "they changed the book." None of this was unexpected, but with so many numbers being multiply revised, teasing out which did what is awfully hard. Altig's summary is a good start:
...overall the news was a mixed bag of a little better news than was expected (the fall in the unemployment rate even as the labor force participation rate rose), a little worse news than was expected (the net three-month loss in payroll employment), and some relatively bad news that was largely expected (the large downward revision in employment growth for the period April 2008 through March 2009).I would point out that today's revision now puts the job loss since January 2009 at 4.022 million workers. Of course some will say it would have been six million without the stimulus. If you get to define the goalposts, I guess you can move them wherever you like.
Certainly, the employment picture is a lot better than this time last year, but it is still a good distance from what anyone would regard as "cheery."
See you in the morning.