Article source: CMDGroup
Standing on the periphery of today’s jobs reports from the U.S. and Canada, I feel more like a cop on the beat, when confronted by bystanders at a minor altercation, than an economist.
My gut reaction is to say, “Move along, please. Not much happening here.” But I don’t want to put you off from reading the rest of this article.
In both countries, the unemployment rates stayed the same, 5.0% for America’s economy and 7.1% for Canada’s.
Month-to-month job creation in the U.S. was a decent enough 160,000, but it was below the 200,000 benchmark that gets everyone at least a little excited.
The last time the month-to-month increase in employment was as low occurred in September of last year (149,000), although January of this year wasn’t that much better (168,000).
Our expectations may have become slightly overblown, after February and March figures of +233,000 and +208,000 respectively.
2016’s monthly average gain in jobs through April, at +192,000, has now dropped by 6.3% compared with the same first four months of 2015, at +205,000.
The latest month-to-month employment increase for the services sector (+174,000) was actually greater than for the economy as whole. Therefore, goods-production must have acted as a drag on payrolls and indeed that was the case. The workforce in ‘mining and logging’ was downsized by 8,000 positions.