Comment on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report

Kathy Bostjancic, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis, The Conference Board

Steady Spring Job Market

May 03, 2013, 09:08 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With an increase of 165,000 jobs in April, and following the significant upward revisions for February and March, the job market looks better than expected despite the sequester or issues like the rising cost of providing health care benefits. Manufacturing, however, is basically flat outside of auto assembly. The big story is gain in the service sector, in addition to the secular gains in health and education. Final demand is relatively weak, so hiring in this sector could well represent some catch up – business finally hiring workers they have long needed but were leery of hiring if the economy was going to buckle under the 'fiscal drag' or the sequester. The concern should be that sustaining this pace of hiring might prove difficult through the spring and summer months, as other key data signal that another spring swoon appears to be underway. Consumer spending power is rising slowly and sentiment is still very weak.

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