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Monday, December 27, 2010 2:25 PM

Unemployment Situation in Pictures; Manufacturing, State and Local, Temporary-Help

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Inquiring minds are looking at charts of state and local employment, manufacturing, temporary help, and other items in the BLS Current Statistics report.

Please click on any chart to see a sharper image.

Note how local governments were still expanding mid-recession, all the way up till July of 2008. A year later, starting June of 2009, local governments finally got religion and started cutting jobs. Look for this trend to continue into 2011.

In spite of all the whining by states, they have not yet made any significant cuts in employment.

For all the brouhaha about the manufacturing recovery, employment in the manufacturing sector has dropped four consecutive months.

Total nonfarm employment shows the nature of the jobless recovery. Jobs are expanding barely enough to hold the unemployment rate constant, and it has taken a declining participation rate to do that.

Total nonfarm employment picked up nicely early-to-mid 2010 but most of that was part-time work for census data gathering. The net effect is employment growth was overstated through May, then understated the next few months as those workers were let go.

Total private employment has been growing at a reasonable clip, but not in comparison to previous recoveries that averaged 200,000 jobs a month.

26% of Jobs growth in 2010 has been from temporary help services.

Net Private Nonfarm Jobs vs. Temporary Jobs
Total +1,171,000 +307,000+864,000
Average +106,500 +27,900+78,500
November +50,000 +39,500+10,500
October +160,000 +34,700+125,300
September +112,000 +27,300+84,700
August +143,000 +22,500+120,500
July +117,000 -6,700+123,700
June +61,000 +18,600+42,400
May +51,000 +30,400+20,600
April +241,000 +23,300+217,700
March +158,000 +32,300+125,700
February +62,000 +35,900 +26,100

The total number of private jobs added in 2010 is 1.17 million. 307,000 of them are from temporary help services. Even including those temporary jobs, the average number of private sector jobs has only been 106,500 a month, not enough to reduce the unemployment rate.

The Federal government continues to expand jobs even as local cutbacks pick up. Overall, government jobs are in contraction as local cutbacks exceed federal hiring.

The above graph is from the October report. Previous graphs from the November report. I still see no driver for jobs. Retail spending for clothes is not a sustainable driver. State and local cutbacks are coming, but that is a very good thing long-term.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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