Job Growth Continues Strong, Which Is Somehow Terrible, Or Perfectly Fine Maybe
Video screenshot, 'Make Manager' by Broken Baby on YouTube

The monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the US economy just keeps steadily adding jobs, with 263,000 new nonfarm jobs in November, well above the Dow Jones forecast of just 200,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent.

Also, the report revised October's jobs numbers upward by 23,000 jobs, from 261,000 to 284,000. That was offset a lot by a downwards revision of 46,000 jobs from September's report, from 315,000 to 269,000. Given a bunch of tech layoffs in the last month, it's also possible the November numbers may be revised down some later.

Here's the thing, though: We're back to fairly normal fluctuations in job numbers from month to month, with no more of those wild swings and big late revisions that had been the normal abnormal during the pandemic and the recovery. In total, the past six months have averaged about 323,000 new jobs a month.

Also ALSO, while we were reading the jobs report, we were listening to the archive of the community radio station's "Femme Fatale" show, hosted by DJ Sadie Mayhem, and the last song on the playlist was this brand new (from September 1) fantastic punk anthem about jobs and striving in America, "Make Manager," by Broken Baby. It's just catchy and fun and the video appears to have been shot in a guerrilla visit to a big box store somewhere and we love it. Also it's so wonderfully frenetic that you cannot get a non-blurry screenshot, Crom knows we tried.

What we are saying here is that all economic reporting should have a punk soundtrack to help us keep perspective.

As the New York Times puts it, the continued solid job growth is "surprisingly resilient" in the face of the Federal Reserve's attempts to slow down the economy by incrementally raising interest rates. Should we be worried? Hell, it's economics, so economists always say we should be worried!

[Economists] found reasons for concern in the evidence that growth is now largely coming from service sectors like education, health care and hospitality, which powered November’s job gains. Hiring in industries most sensitive to rising borrowing costs, like construction and manufacturing, started to level off, and workers put in fewer hours during the average week.

“I don’t want to paint this as a weak report by any stretch, because it’s not,” said Drew Matus, chief market strategist at MetLife Investment Management. “But I do think there are parts of it that just don’t ring like something that’s repeatable month in and month out.”

On the whole though, the Times says, your business types, "while treading cautiously, have generally still found reason to expand."

“It feels to me like we’re not in a decline, just in a consolidation, kind of a flattening,” said Jon Guidi, the chief executive of HealthCare Recruiters International. “I don’t get a strong negative indication on anything. It’s ‘Hey, Jon, we still need to hire, but maybe not in as much of a rush as we were a few months ago. Maybe we’ll be a little pickier.’”

Good to know we don't need to panic, then! Healthcare still has a load of job openings since the pandemic, in part because we burned out all the healthcare workers last year and they've had it up to here with our shit.

The strong jobs report likely means the Fed will ratchet up interest rates a little more, which led to a 200-point drop in the Dow when the report came out. By god, we're going to have less employment to keep inflation down if it kills us. Or maybe we'll still have that "soft landing" without a recession, the goal of all monetary policy geeks.

All that assumes that the Republicans don't blow up the world economy by defaulting on the federal debt once they take control of the House in January.

As for job seekers? They mostly

wanna make manager.

Don’t wanna be a fucking janitor, cleaning up your shit.

Yeah I’m the bitch you’re coming for,

slingin' M&Ms and bullets out the back door.

[Bureau of Labor Statistics / NYT / CNBC / Radio Boise]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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