The more I look at this jobs report, the worse things look underneath the headline numbers. 7.5%! 169,000! We’re saved! Well… no. Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal is pleased as punch, but let’s look deeper:
In terms of breakdown by industry, there was a nice 29,000 increase in retail sales, which is great, given that this was weak in March.
And here’s another number indicating that the consumer is doing good: “Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 38,000 over the month.”
Sorry, but that’s not good. Retail and food are two of the easiest industries for scaling full-time jobs to part-time, which happened to 278,000 people last month — 110,000 than found work of any kind. Yes, employment is increasing. But employers are leaning more and more on part-timers as ObamaCare ill effects kick in.
So how about high-paying, full-time manufacturing and construction jobs? Here’s what BLS reports:
Employment changed little over the month in construction, with small offsetting movements in the residential and nonresidential components. Construction gained an average of 27,000 jobs per month over the prior 6 months. Manufacturing employment was unchanged in April.
Again, sorry, but that’s not good. And likely to get worse:
Orders placed with U.S. factories fell more than forecast in March as a cooling economy slowed demand for metals, mining equipment and military goods.
The 4 percent drop in bookings was the biggest since August and followed a revised 1.9 percent gain the prior month that was smaller than previously estimated, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 58 economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted orders would fall by 2.9 percent.
Going back to Business Insider, Sam Ro has more:
The world’s biggest economies have their April manufacturing PMI reports. And this is our scorecard.
And the reports reflect a global deceleration.
China’s official manufacturing PMI report slipped to 50.6 from 50.9 in March. China’s unofficial HSBC PMI fell to 50.4 from 51.6.
In the U.S., the ISM and PMI manufacturing reports each fell.
Anything over 50 is growth, which is good. But we’re barely over 50, and declining. What we need is robust growth, which we’re not getting and which we’re unlikely to get any time soon.
And when I say we need that robust growth, I mean we need it.