The American economy produced 321,000 new jobs last month, but it’s still too early to get excited that the dampened U.S. economy has fully recovered.
The November jobs report showed a steady unemployment rate — at 5.8 percent, and several thousand new jobs. The report, issued the first week of November, appeared to be a shot of good news in our beleaguered economy. However, the positive news should be tempered with a heavy dose of reality.
Allow us to do some tempering.
The actual headcount, buried deeper in the report, showed that the additional jobs lead to a mere 4,000 more Americans working than worked the month before.
The labor participation rate, a measure of the share of working age people employed or unemployed and seeking work remains at near record lows since women entered the work force. The participation rate remains at a near record low of 62.8 percent.That rate is lower than where it stood when the Great Recession began in 2007.
And about those jobs created, well, there’s troubling news there as well. The vast majority of new jobs were lower-quality jobs. The report showed that 321,000 new jobs created in November were bar and restaurant jobs.There were half as many part-time jobs created as the number of full-time jobs lost. There are now 150,000 fewer full-time jobs, and 77,000 new part-time jobs.
Despite the gushing praise of many pundits suggesting happy times are here again, we think it’s still far too early to uncork the champagne and celebrate about the state of the American economy.