These two graphs from this morning’s jobs report (with my annotation) tell the story of where we are:
The first is unemployment, which downshifted from around 10% to 9% earlier this year, where it’s been stuck ever since. Remember, full employment is around 5%, so we’re stuck in a tough place.
The second is the average monthly change in payroll employment growth, where you can pretty clearly see the deceleration in growth. From around 2010q3 to April of this year, we added an average of around 160K jobs per month, enough to at least slowly nudge the jobless rate down. Since then, it’s been 72K per month.
And then there are those headwinds I mentioned earlier—basically, both here and in Europe, we’re starving for policy solutions, said solutions are across the room on the table, where they’re being left on the table by a dysfunctional politics that is implicitly accepting the unacceptable.
We have achieved shaky stability.
PAYROLLS, MONTHLY CHANGE IN THOUSANDS
Source: BLS Sept jobs report, my annotations.