Sunday, April 08, 2012

U.S. Job Market Far From Healed

In case you're wondering why I haven't blogged during the latest week, it's not that I'm dead, nor is it that I've decided to quit blogging, instead it is that my internet service provider Telia have messed up big time, making me unable to access the Internet. But now I'm back after having bought Internet access from another internet service provider. Hopefully, they won't also screw up.

Luckily, I don't seem to have missed a lot of major events during that, but a few things did happen, including the U.S. jobs report that was released on Friday despite the fact that it was "Good Friday" and most markets were closed.

The report indicated an apparent weakening in job growth in March, but that probably mostly reflected a reversal of the weather effect that arificially boosted job growth in January and February.

But while employment is clearly in an upward trend, it will be a long time before conditions have recovered to the level when Obama was inaugurated, in January 2009, as a writer on CNN Money asserts will happen soon.

Though it is true that the absolute number of employees is close to the January 2009 level, this overlooks that population has increased during these 3 years and 2 months. The employment to population ratio was in March 2012 58.5%, versus 60.6% in January 2009. While some of that decline can be attributed to more "baby boomers" retiring, most of it reflect an increase in unemployment, both open and "hidden".


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