About those job gains...

Not only were 290,000 jobs added to the rolls in April, but 231,000 of them were from the private sector. "This is unambiguously a strong report for growth implications," said economist James O'Sullivan. It was the fourth straight month of job gains, and the March report was revised upward (230,000 jobs vs. 162,000). But scratch the surface and you'll find some less-than-terrific numbers. Most glaring is the government's broader measure of unemployment - known as the U-6 rate - which increased to 17.1 percent in April, the third straight monthly increase. The U-6 accounts for people who have stopped looking for work or can't find full-time jobs - unlike the traditional unemployment rate that doesn't include folks who have given up looking (that rate also rose in April to 9.9 percent). From Real Time Economics:

The U-6 figure includes everyone in the official rate plus "marginally attached workers" -- those who are neither working nor looking for work, but say they want a job and have looked for work recently; and people who are employed part-time for economic reasons, meaning they want full-time work but took a part-time schedule instead because that's all they could find. A U-6 figure that converges toward the official rate could indicate improving confidence in the labor market and the overall economy. This month pushes convergence even further away.

Here's the NYT jobs story.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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