Oops: Employment Numbers Better Than Expected, Unemployment Drops

Despite all the gloom and doom, the employment picture in April was much better than economists had expected, and, maybe more important, quite different than the Hooveresque, Depression Era picture media members have been painting for months.

Makes you wonder if in press rooms all around America, as well as in Democrat campaign headquarters across the fruited plain, there was a huge sigh of disappointment at 8:30 AM EDT when the Labor Department released the data.

Critical updates at end of post including FAR better-than-expected factory orders report!

As such, without further ado, here's the news most people in the nation actually hoping for a good economy will be glad to hear:

Nonfarm payroll employment was little changed in April (-20,000), following job losses that totaled 240,000 in the first 3 months of the year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent, also was little changed in April.

To put this in some perspective, both numbers are far better than what analysts were predicting. As reported by Bloomberg moments before the data was released:

Payrolls shrank by 75,000 workers after decreasing by 80,000 in March, according to the median estimate of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the Labor Department's report. The jobless rate rose to a three-year high of 5.2 percent, the survey also showed.

Hmmm. So this was MUCH better than expected, for not only did the economy shed less jobs than predicted, but also the unemployment rate DROPPED to 5.0 percent instead of rising to 5.2.

It's going to be delicious to watch how all the liberal media members trying to convey Depression-like conditions in the nation in order to get a Democrat in the White House are going to negatively spin this one.

Stay tuned.

*****Update. Since it seems a metaphysical certitude media will, once again, refuse to give any historical reference to the jobs losses we've been seeing so far this year, here are the payroll declines in the first four months of the previous four recessions:

  • 1980: 1,159,000
  • 1981-82: 914,000
  • 1990-91: 484,000
  • 2001: 578,000

This means the average four-month loss of jobs at the beginning of the previous four recessions was 783,000. By contrast, we've lost 260,000 non-farm workers since December, or exactly one-third the recent average.

I'm sure media will inform the citizens of this.

*****Update II: Is the AP's Jeannine Aversa reading NewsBusters?

After all, we've been all over her poor economics writing for months. Yet, today, she surprised me with the following headline and opening paragraphs:

Friday May 2, 9:21 am ET
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

Employers cut fewer jobs in April, jobless rate falls to 5 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Employers cut far fewer jobs in April than in recent months and the unemployment rate dropped to 5 percent, a better-than-expected showing that nonetheless still revealed strains in the nation's crucial labor market.

For the fourth month in a row, the economy lost jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday. But in April the losses totaled 20,000, an improvement from the 81,000 reductions in payrolls logged in March. Job losses for both February and March turned out to be a bit deeper than previously reported.

The latest snapshot of the nationwide employment conditions -- while clearly still weak -- was better than many economists were anticipating. They were bracing for job cuts of 75,000 and for the unemployment rate to climb to 5.2 percent.

Nice job, Jeannine. This is what's called reporting the news and not distorting it. Whatever got into your coffee this morning, please keep using it.

*****Update III: Factory orders for March were just released, and the data is stunning -- up 1.4 percent. Estimates were for a 0.2 percent rise. WOW!!!

Economy Unemployment Business Coverage Recession
Noel Sheppard's picture