Tuesday, September 6, 2011

US Employment Indicators

You don’t need me to tell you about all the bad news in August’s employment report. So let’s try hard to find some of the good news in that report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Private sector payrolls are up 142,400 per month on average over the past 12 months. That’s certainly subpar, but a recovery nonetheless. According to the ADP survey of private payrolls, employment rose 91,000 during August, outpacing the official increase of 17,000. During the first eight months of this year, these payrolls are up 1.16 million with small, medium, and large companies adding 603,000, 508,000, and 45,000 to their payrolls.

Private sector payrolls bottomed during February 2010. They are up 2.4 million over that 18-month period. Over the same period of the previous recovery in this measure of employment, it rose 2.5 million.

The pace of hiring could actually improve in coming months. The Monster Employment Index rose 3 points in August to 147, the highest reading since October 2008. Last month’s advance was led by increases in natural resources, healthcare, and retail trade. The following industries were at cyclical highs during August: manufacturing, construction, transportation & warehousing, retail, information, educational services, and healthcare & social assistance. While the hiring situation could deteriorate rapidly, it did not do so in August.

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