Unemployment Remains Amazingly Low

by: Jeff Miller

The household employment survey showed unemployment falling to a rate of 4.4%, well below the Fed's concept of NAIRU.  David Malpass, the Bear Stearns Chief Global Economist who has absolutely nailed the story on economic growth over the last few years, says the following:

  • The 4.4% unemployment rate is an "indication of a sturdy economy." He also, among other things, notes strong tax receipts.
  • The household survey is "never revised, and includes self-employment, limited liability corporations, and other businesses not included in the payroll survey..." It is the strongest gain "since April, 2005."
  • arry and his "anonymous friend", who also has strong ties to Bear, see this as "hiring the Gals." At "A Dash" we see it as a tight labor market, and we are amazed by anyone who has a different slant. Check out Barry's analysis and then come back for our question on this:

    An anonymous friend writes: Myself, I was wonderin’ how they got the 4.4% to print, weren’t you? A close look at the figures in Table A will show you that the reason for the big drop in the unemployment rate is because the “Employment” component …

    Malpass also strongly differs with Barry and his friend on subjects like labor force participation.

    This would make for an interesting discussion. Since both Barry Ritholtz and David Malpass both appear on Larry Kudlow's program, why not ask Kudlow to have them both on for a discussion of labor markets?

    I would be most interested in their comparative takes on historical rates of labor force participation and whether the current labor markets are tight. I might even let Mildred watch the show!