Friday, April 6, 2012


The Lehmann Letter (SM)

Perhaps it was too much to ask………….. That the economy keep generating over 200,000 jobs a month.

The chart shows we had begun to do it, but last month we slipped.

This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 120,000 new jobs in March and an unemployment rate - virtually unchanged- of 8.2%:

That's not bad, but it's not good enough. As this letter has said over the last couple of years, we need 200,000+ jobs a month - month after month for several years - to bring the unemployment rate back down to an acceptable level of around 5%.

Job Growth
(Click on chart to enlarge)

(Recessions shaded)

The chart shows that there is a lot of noise in the data and that we can expect month-to-month variation. So this may be no more than a glitch caused by statistical variability. After all, the other news has been good.

Keep in mind, however, for every month under 200,000 we need another month well above 200,000 to remain on the full-employment track.

(To be fully informed visit

© 2012 Michael B. Lehmann

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