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U.S. unemployment details

US unemployment for the month of March wil be published on Friday, and consensus points to 3.9%. This is an important indicator for the economy, for the Fed, in its endeavor to cut rates, and for the presidential Elections in November. A number below 4% is still considered full Employment, but there are details to look for in the report in terms of quality: as you can see in the sheet below, more part time jobs are being created than full time jobs, perhaps as a sign of low commitment from employers to maintain or increase headcount structurally. And perhaps because of that, there is also a growing discrepancy between employment reported by employees (lower) and the data reported by employers (higher). A person with three part time jobs will be reported as 1 worker, from the standpoint of the household survey (employee side) while from the employer side, 3 jobs will be reported (or three workers), and if we add the fact that there’s been a big increase in the number of foreign nationals employed, the overall number could be misleading.

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