Even CNBC’s Steve Liesman said he couldn’t find a silver lining in this morning’s March unemployment report. It was that bad.
And when you look at the so-called real unemployment, which includes discouraged or undermployed workers, that the rate is 15.6%. Think about it. A sixth of the country is now unable to get a job. No wonder it feels like everyone we know is unemployed. They are.
And after a little bit of a bump, futures are selling off. Things still suck.
Added: Analyst Richard Moody offers some more insight:
One piece of data that merits more attention than it will likely be given is the decline in average weekly hours to 33.2 hours. Along with the sharp decline in employment, this puts the contraction in aggregate hours worked during Q1 ahead of that seen during 2008’s fourth quarter, setting the stage for an even larger contraction in real GDP. Moreover, the decline in aggregate hours worked easily negates the modest increase in average hourly earnings — the proxy for aggregate earnings fell sharply in March and is down 2.8 per cent from March 2008. Thus, household incomes will remain under pressure, casting doubt on the extent to which the gains in consumer spending seen in January and February will be sustained over coming months.