Counting Bean Counters

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor, released their employment report on Friday, May 8, it showed huge losses in jobs across almost every sector of the economy.  They break jobs down into various categories to help define where weaknesses may exist.  So we saw, unsurprisingly, that construction shed 110,000 jobs.  Manufacturing dropped 149,000.  A goulash labeled trade, transportation, & utilities saw 126,000 positions disappear.  Professional and business services reported a combined 122,000 drop.  Other sectors like information, financial activities, and leisure & hospitality saw declines in the tens of thousands.  Only two groups rose.  The field of education & health services gained 15,000.  Government was the big winner, up 72,000.  Now I don’t begrudge a man a job, but governments don’t always produce things I consider of value.  The gains in government jobs seen in April related mostly to hiring for the upcoming 2010 census.  It’s a down-payment really, since they expect to hire about 1,400,000 temps to get the job done.  With that many bean counters involved, I suspect a few are being hired just to maintain a census of the census workers.