ROSENBERG: These 20 Charts Show That The US Jobs Market Continues To Be A Huge Mess

david rosenberg

Last Friday’s surprisingly strong April jobs report and today’s unexpected drop in initial unemployment claims were welcome developments in the beleaguered U.S. labour market.

However, the underlying details of the labour market continue to be troubling.

Last week, veteran economist David Rosenberg gave a lengthy 59-slide  presentation on the Federal Reserve’s failed efforts to get the economy on track.

Much of the presentation focused on the dynamics of the U.S. workforce.

Rosenberg argued that despite the high unemployment rates, there’s actually a shortage of qualified labour, which is resulting in labour hoarding.  Furthermore, there are signs that this is forcing wages to go up, which mean trouble for corporate profit margins.  This is ultimately bearish for stocks.

The unemployed are staying unemployed for much longer than usual.

Tens of millions of people are giving up and dropping out of the labour force.

As a result, we're running out of people to hire.

The number of educated workers is also falling.

And jobs are going unfilled.

Private surveys confirm this trend.

Hiring activity is lagging.

Job openings as a percentage of hiring is on the rise.

These trends are forcing employers to do whatever they can to keep their workers.

Meanwhile, workers have no problem quitting their jobs.

Companies are making their workers work more.

All of this means the employed are getting paid more.

However, productivity growth is low.

This comes as labour costs rise.

labour costs closely track inflation.

Rising labour costs is bad news for corporate profit margins.

With profit margins getting squeezed, don't be surprised if we see a stock market correction.

Maybe all of this means the worst is over for the U.S. worker.

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