Jobless Report for March

According to the survey of 400,000 business establishments, private-sector payrolls increased by 230,000 jobs after rising by 240,000 in February, marking the first time that private-sector job gains have been over 200,000 for two straight months in five years.
. . .
The nation’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally-adjusted 8.8% in March from 8.9% in February, according to a separate survey of 60,000 households.

Seems like good news. We’ll need to know what the labor participation rate was in order to determine why the unemployment rate dropped.

In another sign of clueless media reporting, reporter Greg Robb throws in this idiocy:

There were few dark spots in an otherwise strong report.

Government employment fell by 14,000 in March. This was the fifth straight monthly decline.

Average hourly earnings were flat at $22.87. On a year-over-year basis, earnings were up 1.7%. This is below the 2.2% year-over-year increase in the consumer price index in February.

The average workweek was unchanged at 34.3 hours.

Falling government employment is a bright spot because there were fewer resources inefficiently and ineffectively wasted by politics.  Better that resources be used by the private sector to increase wealth instead of they be squandered on making politicians look good.  On top of that, that’s more taxes dedicated to government payrolls and pensions.

A lower average workweek is not necessarily bad.  It is a sign of economic progress that more products and services can be produced in a shorter amount of time.  That leaves more time for leisure and other pursuits.  Look at it this way: if a person can make 3 mouse clicks on a PC which causes a product to be shipped to a customer, isn’t that better than that person having to write out the order by hand with pen and paper, then use interoffice mail to send that piece of paper to the next department?



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