Friday, May 04, 2007

Jobs Grew Modestly in April

Low expectations. Even lower job growth.

Wall Street expected a weak employment report for April and it got it. According to Bloomberg, the consensus estimate was for a growth of 100,000 jobs. According to the Wall Street Journal, the expectation was for 110,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced April's job growth was 88,000.

April's payroll's were 1.4% higher than a year ago. The economy has produced slower year over year job growth in first four months of 2007 than we saw last year. Yet 1.4 percent growth is fast enough to keep up with labor force growth and slowly pull down the unemployment rate. These comparisons need to be weighed against the very rapid growth experienced the same time last year.

The unemployment rate increased from 4.4 percent to 4.5 percent. This reflects the month to month sampling fluctuation more than it does a fundamental reversal of trend.

Aircraft manufacturing booming

The Bureau did not report separate jobs data for aircraft manufacturing. However it did report that total jobs in the transportation equipment sector fell by 200,000 and that motor vehicles and parts fell by 4.8 million. This implies the rest of the sector grew by 4.6 million jobs which would be principally in the aerospace industry.

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