The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary and analysis on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, inflation, labor economics, and financial issues.
- BLS Handbook of Methods
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Congressional Budget Office
- Economic Data - FRED® II, St. Louis Fed
- Office of Management and Budget
- Statistics: Releases and Historical Data, Board of Governors
- U.S. Census Bureau Economic Programs
- White House Economic Statistics Briefing Room
November 04, 2005
An Employment Growth Spoiler
U.S. employers hired 56,000 more people -- about half as many as expected -- than last month as leisure and hospitality employment fell sharply.
Economists had expected about 110,000 new jobs in October, but with hotels and restaurants in seasonal staff reductions the outcome was much weaker than anticipated, the Labor Department said Friday.
That decline was not offset by modest increases in other industries employment levels. The upshot was a national unemployment rate actually dropped to 5 percent from 5.1 percent in September.
Builders hired 33,000 more people last month compared with an average monthly increase of 21,000. Some of that increase stemmed from post-hurricane reconstruction.
Financial services companies boosted staff by 22,000, most of it to increase credit intermediation services.
Healthcare and social assistance together added 23,000 positions.
Over at Angry Bear, Kash focuses on the large role of construction employment in October, and it is surely true that construction spending was disproportionately responsible for what scant job growth we enjoyed last month. Here is the breakdown of employment gains by sector in October:
Here is the pattern year-to-date:
So, it is certainly true that construction employment took a lead role in October's net job creation, in contrast to the experience over the year as a whole. But overall the patterns are not that far off what we have been seeing in 2005. And, post-hurricanes, shouldn't we be expecting some step-up in the share of employment accounted for by the construction sector as the "rebuilding bump" starts to settle in?
In general, I'm not sure what to make of situations in which total employment gains are concentrated in a small number of sectors. Month-to-month fortunes, as we have warned on many occasions, are quite volatile, and at any given time some types of business activity are waxing, and some are waning. For my money, it is still the total nonfarm employment picture that is the most informative.
That, of course, is not much comfort this month. Barry Ritholtz, taking a swipe at the optimists, suggests that the weak employment numbers tell the real story of the current economy. But the big picture, I think, is not so clear cut. Certainly the tenor of the incoming news seems to be changing day to day. My impression still is that things on the real side of the economy are, at worst, mixed.
Calculated Risk warns we are heading toward the unacceptable threshold for Bush-term job performance. pgl explains why unemployment fell. The Skeptical Speculator observes that outside of the United States today's news was generally positive.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to blogs that reference An Employment Growth Spoiler :
Latest employment statistics: the clear thing is that it's not at all clear
Last week's GDP statistics and this week's [Read More]
Tracked on Nov 6, 2005 3:33:27 PM
- When Health Insurance and Its Financial Cushion Disappear
- What Is the "Right" Policy Rate?
- Is Poor Health Hindering Economic Growth?
- Behind the Increase in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation
- An Update on Labor Force Participation
- Another Look at the Wage Growth Tracker's Cyclicality
- GDPNow's Second Quarter Forecast: Is It Too High?
- Are Small Loans Hard to Find? Evidence from the Federal Reserve Banks' Small Business Survey
- Slide into the Economic Driver's Seat with the Labor Market Sliders
- The Fed’s Inflation Goal: What Does the Public Know?
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- Business Cycles
- Business Inflation Expectations
- Capital and Investment
- Capital Markets
- Data Releases
- Economic conditions
- Economic Growth and Development
- Exchange Rates and the Dollar
- Fed Funds Futures
- Federal Debt and Deficits
- Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy
- Financial System
- Fiscal Policy
- Health Care
- Inflation Expectations
- Interest Rates
- Labor Markets
- Latin America/South America
- Monetary Policy
- Money Markets
- Real Estate
- Saving, Capital, and Investment
- Small Business
- Social Security
- This, That, and the Other
- Trade Deficit
- Wage Growth