Friday, May 4, 2012


The Lehmann Letter (SM)

This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the economy added 115,000 jobs in April:

Last month BLS reported a gain of 120,000. That has now been revised upward to 154,000.

This is not good enough to restore full employment.

Job Growth 
(Click on chart to enlarge)

(Recessions shaded)

You can see from the chart that a strong economy provides monthly gains of 250,000. We had that in February, and need to get back on track.

Unfortunately government has been shedding jobs, so that private-sector gains are somewhat offset by government losses. (In April the private sector added 130,000 jobs while government employment fell by 15,000.) That’s too bad because government employment is within the reach of policy control. But fiscal stringency has forced government cutbacks.

So the private sector must work that much harder. Our eyes turn once again to housing, the big laggard. We’ll see what this month has in store.

(To be fully informed visit

© 2012 Michael B. Lehmann

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