Friday, July 02, 2004

Employment Watch:

The NYT confirms the labor market is signalling that the oldman was indeed correct in his assessment.

U.S. Job Growth Slows Sharply in June

Published: July 2, 2004
Filed at 9:12 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The pace of U.S. hiring slumped sharply in June after several months of robust gains, the government reported on Friday, as employers added fewer than half the number of payroll jobs forecast and hours of work shrank.

The Labor Department said only 112,000 jobs were created last month, far fewer than the 250,000 that Wall Street analysts had anticipated. April and May new-job totals were revised down, to 324,000 and 235,000 respectively, from 346,000 and 248.000.

The unemployment rate was unchanged, as expected, at 5.6 percent.

June still represented a 10th straight month of job growth that has added about 1.5 million workers to payrolls, but the unexpectedly steep slowdown last month may make it harder for President Bush to campaign for re-election in November on a claim of accelerating economic momentum.

In a sign of broader weakness, the average workweek eased to 33.6 hours in June from 33.8 in May, the shortest since a matching level in December.

All of June's job growth in service industries. The manufacturing sector lost 11,000 jobs, a reversal after four straight months in which factories had added jobs following years of decline.

As the oldman mentioned, if the economy according to his information really had dropped off and began a real contraction in the beginning of may (as later economic indicators began confirming like a downward revision of GDP) that the labor market numbers typically take three to six months to catch up. That would put the time frame of between July and October. Since this is the beginning of july, it is only appropriate that we begin to see the falloff in the jobs numbers.


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