Thursday, October 20, 2022

Sept Wis jobs report - Great, or mass exodus? I lean to great.

On the payrolls side, it looks a great September jobs report in Wisconsin.
For September, total nonfarm jobs increased 7,000 over the month and 63,000 over the year. Wisconsin's unemployment rate of 3.2% now stands at 0.3 percentage points below the national rate of 3.5%.

• Place of Work Data: Within the category of total nonfarm wage and salary jobs, Wisconsin added 14,400 private sector jobs during the month of September and 62,400 over the year, with monthly and annual gains in construction, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality. State government jobs are down 700 over the year.
And add in revisions, and it was over 15,000 new private sector jobs for September. Wow, sounds like a blowout report!

But let’s not crack open too many cold ones, because the household survey told a very different story.
Place of Residence Data: Wisconsin's unemployment rate and labor force participation rate continue to better the U.S. equivalents. Wisconsin's September unemployment rate was 3.2% versus the U.S. rate of 3.5%. The state's labor force participation rate was 65.6% in September, compared with the national rate of 62.3%.
Yeah, but that 65.6% participation rate is down nearly 1% vs what we had in May, and reflects 35,000 Wisconsinites allegedly leaving the workforce in those 4 months. Over the same time period, the number of unemployed has risen by 10,000.

Both of these items can’t seem to be correct at the same time unless there are a lot of out-of-staters getting hired here in recent months, while previously working Wisconsin residents are retiring and/or leaving in droves.

Neither of those answers make much sense, and after having these surveys largely move in tandem during the recovery from COVID-induced shutdowns, there is a notable divergence between the "jobs" numbers and the "employed" numbers in Wisconsin over the last 4 months.

So what's correct? I might worry that the losses in the household survey translates over into losses in the payroll survey soon, or are already happening. Except that unemployment claims in mid-September 2022 in Wisconsin were barely half of what they were this time last year (and still are cut in half today).

Ironically, the lack of layoffs helps to explain the big “gains” in the payrolls survey for September, because there were much fewer seasonal layoffs than models bake in for the state. It’s the flip side of the stagnant job growth of the Spring, when many places were reporting trouble in finding candidates to hire in the busier warm-weather season, and because of the lower-than-normal hiring, job “growth” .

Wisconsin job change, September 2022
All jobs
Seasonally adjusted +7,000
Non-seasonally adjusted -1,800

Private sector jobs
Seasonally adjusted +14,400
Non-seasonally adjusted -24,700

The good news in that report is that jobs are still clearly in demand, as more Wisconsinites stayed on the job in September than normal, and layoffs are down. The not-so-good news is that I don't know if there are many workers available to fill spots in Wisconsin, which will limit our growth.

I suppose we could go along with Ron Johnson's wish of "coaxing" seniors back to work by cutting Social Security benefits. But people who aren't rich a-holes aren't likely to get behind that.

And speaking of rich a-holes, it'll really be hard to get people to come here and work here if a clueless dope like this (and an equally regressive/dipshit GOP Legislature) is in charge of the state.

Despite the subpar information in September's household survey, I'd wager that most Wisconsinites think the labor market is still very strong as we approach the November elections. And the many Sconnies with real jobs and real lives shouldn't be taking the economic advice from either of these arrogant, mediocre white men who had their companies given to them by other family members.

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