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Economy in Brief

U.S. Breadth of Job Increase is Improved
by Tom Moeller  March 11, 2013

Since 1990, diffusion indexes of payroll employment have moved with the change in overall employment. Therefore, recent moderate payroll gains are well-grounded. For private nonfarm production industries, 63.3% added to payrolls last month versus January. That's improved from 61.6% on average during each month of last year. Over a three-month span the pickup in the breadth of job gain is to an even firmer 68.0% compared to 66.2% during all of 2012. That improvement was accompanied by a 246,000 (1.9% y/y) increase in private nonfarm payrolls, the strongest increase in three months and the second strongest in a year.

Factory sector improvement in the breadth of job gain also is in evidence, but it's less compelling. During February, over a one-month span 60.5% of industries added to payrolls. Over a three-month period, however, a lesser 59.9% added to employment while just 49.4% added jobs over a six-month period. These modest breadth of gain are consistent with manufacturing payrolls small 14,000 rise during February. While that was the best rise in three months, it left payrolls up just 0.9% y/y.  

The figures referenced above are available in Haver's EMPL database and USECON databases.


Diffusion Indexes of Employment Change (%) 1-Mth Span 3-Mth Span 6-Mth Span 2012-1 Mth. Avg. 2011-1 Mth. Avg. 2010-1 Mth. Avg.
Private Nonfarm Production Workers 63.3 68.0 68.4 61.6 62.1 54.7
Manufacturing Production Workers 60.5 59.9 49.4 55.3 58.8 54.6
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