Monday, June 29, 2009
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes payroll data from business establishments. The data is a broad based survey is a better employment metric than the household survey since establishment data comes from actual payrolls of an estimated 40 million workers.
This is my down and dirty take on graphical data. Usually, where manufacturing hours dip below 41.5, this shows that the economy is not producing at capacity. Thus, a sign of a recession. The nonfarm hours have declined for several months. To me this means that consumers have less money to spend. This shows a decreased in aggregated demand. A decline in the hours worked also means that the economy is not making the natural rate output.
In the data is another thought for me. Outside of manufacturing, most workers only work a four-and-a-quarter day week. As a teacher, I usually work a 60-hour week. One implication to me is that potential teachers have to be screened for their ability to work long, uncompensated hours during the nine-month school year.