Saturday, May 9, 2009

April Job Numbers

Employment numbers for April beat government expectations. Instead of 600,000 new unemployment claims, there were only half a million (539,000, to be precise). However, the bureaucrats responsible for tallying these numbers have been consistently wrong about them for the past eight months. On average, the estimates since last August have been low by 104k, so it's still possible that more than 600,000 jobs were actually lost in April.

I've been expecting an improvement in the labor numbers because the "minimum wage" will increase by 11% in late July. Businesses that buy a lot of labor will try to accelerate their purchases before the increase and cut staff after it. Barring new economic catastrophes, I think May's unemployment numbers will be better than April's, June's better than May's, and July's better than June's. August will either see more unemployment or little change from July.

Note: The minimum wage has always been, is now, and forever will be $0, that is why I put "minimum wage" in scare quotes.

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