The financial press is gumming gravely today about the 266,000 jobs print for April, noting that it is the worst “miss” since 1998, given that more than 1.0 million new jobs were expected.
Still, we have a news flash. Not only are these jobs simply born again positions that were lost during the Covid-Lockdown, not new jobs, but where it counts—-actual hours worked—there was no gain at all. None. Nichts. Nada.
That’s right. As shown below, the index of aggregate hours for private employees came in at 114.3 in April, which is the identical level now posted by the BLS for March.
Moreover, that’s still 4.6% below the pre-Covid peak in February 2020, and continues a near-flatlining trend that has been underway since last November after the initial rebound from the April 2020 lockdown plunge.
Our point here is not simply that the US economy is not booming per Wall Street’s current narrative, but that we’ve had all the “stimulus” that Uncle Sam and the Fed’s printing press can possibly buy, and to precious little avail.