An Economy For ADULTS: Why We Should Be Upset About The Surprise In Job Growth

Barry Gander
14 min readMay 9

Why is good economic news a surprise?

Why is any economic news a ‘surprise’?

No economist saw it coming.

The trends in our economy can be better forecast using some random factor like baseball:

The business media were shocked at the recent news about job growth. “Defies Rate Hikes”, they said, “Major Surprise” they added.

The wage gains were indeed substantial — around 4.5%. They point to persistent labor market strength. And BTW, the unemployment rate fell back to a 53-year low of 3.4%.

All of this happened despite bank turmoil and a decelerating economy.

In fact, the US economy was so powerful it unexpectedly added 253K jobs in April 2023, beating forecasts of 180K and following a downwardly revised 165K in March.

In a word, job growth was about twice as strong as the experts had expected.

It only took them a minute to pivot to the possibility that the growth could trigger the next recession. Bad news sells better.

So the obvious question: why hadn’t the experts predicted this?

Every day you can go online and see dozens of people in suits pontificating solemnly about our economy.

But you know your economy is in lightweight hands when its keepers are surprised by an event that should be a common-place marker.

The economic “influencers” must have been very embarrassed by the showing of job strength. Their orders from the oligarchy are to keep wages down. That after all is why restaurants are now hiring children.

True to its mandate to protect business owners from the inconvenience of rising wages, for example, the Federal Reserve raised its interest rate to the highest level since August 2007. Wages were “stubbornly high.”

Take that, fast-growing economy!

The Chair of the Fed smugly reassured owners that the economy “is likely to face further…

Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry