A “feel good” jobs report.

Originally published at Benfell Blog. Please leave any comments there.

Normally, I get to the unemployment data much earlier in the day but I’m coming down to the wire on a class project due at the end of the semester (preview here). I’m hoping I’ll finish that tomorrow.

The big news is that over 1.5 million people returned to the labor market in April and some of them are finding jobs. According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, over 1.1 million more people were employed in April than in March. But the number of people the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts as unemployed also rose by about 423,000. The results make the headline (U-3) unemployment rate rise to 9.86 percent. Meanwhile, Admiral Janeway’s U-3, which works from a different notion of labor market size, declined to 12.43 percent.

The word I’m getting, though from many sources, is that policymakers’ responses to the Greek financial crisis are inadequate, that some form of default is inevitable, and that this will induce another financial crisis. It doesn’t appear to me that Greeks are accepting the austerity measures which are being imposed; there have been riots and a general strike. And of course, I don’t blame them. I think they understand that they’re being ripped off by the elite. And frankly, that’s the kind of contagion I’d like to see more of.

Unfortunately, the rest of us will likely only see the effects of another banking crisis. And I suspect that’s coming sooner rather than later. That may be compounded by the other thing I keep hearing about happening in this country: deleveraging. Frankly, I don’t know where these jobs in today’s numbers are coming from. It might be that what I really should be doing is just throwing this particular project overboard because I can’t help but suspect the numbers are bogus and if that’s the case, then my calculations are at least as bogus as those of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.