Everything Roses? Under The Hood Of The March Jobs Report

Everything Roses? Under The Hood Of The March Jobs Report

March's jobs report was a blockbuster and early reactions were almost unequivocally and universally upbeat. "Everything comes up roses," one headline declared. "With more and more movement there is more and more demand, resulting in the need for more and more workers," ING's James Knightley said, adding that "given continuing upward moves in the daily restaurant and flight data through the second half of March, we should be looking at a jobs growth figure well in excess of 1 million in April."
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5 thoughts on “Everything Roses? Under The Hood Of The March Jobs Report

  1. Biden is correct. As H has repeatedly stated, as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, we should make sure our citizens have a basic level of housing, food, healthcare and education. The government is either going to give UBI or make sure a job is available. I am definitely in the “make sure a job is available” camp. People sitting around without a job end up spending too much time on TV/electronic devices and are prone to addictions of many varieties.
    The infrastructure bill is definitely needed because “permanently remote” is here to stay reducing the demand for some food/drink establishments, especially in CBD’s.
    Besides, our roads are generally in terrible shape and if you own a nice car, especially of the sports car variety, the conditions of the roads are so bad that you might not even want to drive it downtown- even if your favorite restaurant has reopened.

    1. The job guarantee is certainly easier to sell politically than UBI — and gut instinct says your points are all valid.

      I felt obligated to read Stephanie Kelton’s oeuvre; although it didn’t contain anything new to me, it was a soothing bubble bath of validation for my predilections. I found it notable that she focused strongly on the GJG in her policy prescriptions and, although she mentioned UBI, didn’t dwell on it.

      If Kelton be the face of US academic MMT thinking, then it’s skewed toward jobs…

  2. The distinction between UBI and “make jobs available” will become trickier. Our economy doesn’t really need the labor of all of our population. With increasing automation, the trend toward decreased need for labor will increase. The trick will be to make work for people that is meaningful–and of course instituting policies so that the wealth/income produced in our economy is not concentrated too highly in the hands of the wealthiest. One can envision positions such as being a stay-at-home mother, being a home health aid, caring for an old relative, or making rounds visiting lonely old people who live alone could become good-paying jobs in such a system.

  3. The number of permanent job losses is half what it was at this stage of the GFC.

    Companies are overall in better shape now than then. Banks are full of cash to lend. Investors are overflowing with cash to invest.

    Consumers have lower debt and more liquidity than then, by a country mile. Heck, consumer balance sheets may be better than they were at the height of the last expansion.

    Monetary policy and fiscal policy are far, far more stimulative now. If Obama & Bernanke had a bazooka squad, Biden & Powell wield the 18 inch guns of the mighty Mississippi.

    How is this not a setup for a rapid, strong, even ferocious, jobs and economic recovery?

    Okay, there’s scenarios where that doesn’t happen. Virus comes roaring back, Congress gridlocks, or maybe Fintwit is right and everything above is merely the vaporous tail to the option vol-of-vol gamma-dog.

    But if investing is about betting on probability-weighted scenarios, it is hard for me to think at least 60% of the 6-12 month outcomes aren’t some form of “strong recovery”.

  4. These jobs in the service sector are welcome but how much will they really affect the overall economy? They are mostly low paying subsistent level jobs. An infrastructure push would create higher paying jobs and have the additional benefit of bringing the USA into the 21st century. But, the USA has a poor record of efficient allocation of money towards major infrastructure projects. They take forever to be approved and end up costing much more than like projects in other advanced countries.

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