There is no doubt that the recent jobs report was weak, but its worth noting that its not that far off what we have been experiencing recently.
Private payrolls increased by 17K but 45K jobs were cut because of the Verizon strike. After accounting for the strike private employment grew by 62K. Very weak but not out of line.
Furthermore manufacturing employment declined slightly. In the beginning of the year manufacturing was expanding somewhere in 40K range. A slowdown and now slight contraction is a big part of the current weakness.
On the public side of the ledger employment decreased by 17K, but that’s after the resolution of a government strike in Minnesota. So, the net-of-strike decrease is 42K government jobs.
The theme that non-goods private employment is slowly growing, while production and government shrinks, continues.
I’ll also mention I’m doing some digging into government employment and there is some evidence that the decline may not come to an end as quickly as I had assumed. Despite large current cuts, the buzz in State and Local government is that the recession actually prevented them from making the type of capital investments that could cut even more workers.
In addition an end to both the echo boom and the decades long effort to bring down class sizes means that the steady increase in the employment of teachers is coming to a secular end.
Teachers represent nearly half of all State and Local government workers.