There isn’t much to complain about in this morning’s U.S. employment report. I’ve been keeping my eye on a few below-the-headlines figures, and those have been solid for a few months running.
The household survey again showed increases in both the labor force participation and employment-to-population ratios; data on the reasons for unemployment attribute the uptick in the unemployment rate primarily to job market re-entrants. This is bad news for economists of the neoclassical persuasion such as Casey Mulligan who attempted to explain the last two years’ sharp decline in labor force participation as the Great Vacation of ’08-09.
Those inclined to see the glass half empty may observe that the not-well-loved Net Birth/Death Model, which tries to adjust payroll data for biases associated with the speed with which BLS recognizes the existence of new firms and the non-existence of defunct ones, added 188,000 jobs to April ’10 payrolls (before seasonal adjustment). However, this is only 62,000 more than the comparable addition in April ’09, and there is no reason to believe that conditions for Net Births, not least economic growth, are not in fact significantly better now.
This might not quite make this Morning in America, yet, but we’re getting there.
Added: Charles Wiese, whose optimistic view has kept me going the last few months, has more of the glass-more-than-half-full story.