May 6th, 2014
in Op Ed
by Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner
Actual, not seasonally adjusted (NSA), nonfarm payrolls rose by 1.15 million in April to a total of 138.3 million. This is better than April's 10 year average gain of 898,000. It also beat the April 2012 gain of 994,000. The annual rate of change was +1.75%, slightly stronger than the the last two months, but right in line with the momentum of the past two years. Not seasonally adjusted data is typically not subject to material revision, unlike the headline, seasonally adjusted impressionistic data, which is revised 7 times over 5 years before finalization.
Non Farm Payrolls Continue To Gain At Steady Rate - Click to enlarge
According to the household survey (CPS), actual not seasonally adjusted total employment rose by 677,000 in April. That was worse than the 10 year average of 771,000 for that month. It was also much worse than last year's April gain of 1.02 million.
The establishment survey (CES) of nonfarm payrolls purports to count the total number of jobs. The household survey supposedly counts the number of people holding jobs. Here's the problem. The total number of jobs according to the establishment survey was 138.3 million. The total number of employed persons according to the household survey was 145.6 million. Must be all those eBay sellers who are not counted in the establishment survey. Or could it be-eeee...eee, no, not SATAN, but that the household survey is overcounting the number of employed and understating unemployment by attributing employed status to self employed people not making any money like, say, real estate sales people working on commission?
Making even less sense is that the BLS (Bureau of Liar Statistics?) says that full time jobs counted in the household survey rose by 1.09 million to 118.1 million in April. That crushed the 10 year average of a gain of 674,000 for the month. It was also better than April 2013′s gain of 878,000. Apparently full time jobs are crushing it while part time jobs are declining. Again, it must be those full time, no pay self employment jobs.
But even with those stellar gains in full time jobs which ran at an annual rate of +2.1%, the best year over year performance since 2011, the full time jobs to population ratio stands at only 47.7%. At the bottom of the recession in April 2009, that rate was 47.9%. Full time employment gains have only kept pace with population growth. Compare these rates with 51% at the bottom of the 2002-03 recession and 53% in 2006, thanks to the fake jobs spawned by the housing bubble.