Jobs figures就业数据 A gentle tailwind进展顺利，但缓慢
Employment is moving, ever so slowly, in Barack Obama’s direction
ON APRIL 4th Barack Obama announced, to no one’s surprise, that he would seek a second term in 2012. The timing was auspicious. Three days earlier the job market, a key determinant of his re-election chances, took a turn for the better. On that day the government reported that non-farm payrolls rose a hefty 216,000, or 0.2%, in March, led by manufacturers, hotels, restaurants and temporary staffing agencies. Strapped state and local governments trimmed their payrolls for the fifth month in a row. But private payrolls, a better indicator of the economy’s animal spirits, have posted their biggest two-month advance since 2006, at 470,000.
4月4日，不出众人所料，奥巴马宣布他将争取在2012年连任总统。 当时的时机很有利。 三天之前，决定奥巴马连任的关键性因素-就业市场，开始走向好转。当天的政府报告称，三月份非农业就业人口大幅上升216,000，占总人数的0.2％，这一增长主要来自于制造业，酒店，餐饮业和临时职介所。经济拮据的州和地方政府过去连续五个月的一直削减人数。 但是，但是私营企业的就业人数，这个表示经济扩大投资的优良指标，达到了自2006年以来最大的两个月连续增长，为470,000人。
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 8.8% from 8.9%. It has now plummeted a full percentage point in four months, a feat unmatched since early 1984 and a fact Mr Obama made sure to point out. No doubt he hopes it augurs for him what it did for Ronald Reagan in 1984. Like Mr Obama, Mr Reagan endured a savage recession early in his first term that crushed his approval ratings and cost his party seats in the mid-terms. But by 1984 job creation was on a roll and Mr Reagan romped to re-election.
A closer look at the data, however, illustrates why the economy is less of a tailwind for Mr Obama than it was for the Gipper. Unemployment is falling far faster than the health of the economy can explain. In the four months during which unemployment dropped a percentage point in 1983-84, non-farm payrolls leapt by 1.6m. In the last four months they have advanced a mere 630,000. The survey of households that yields the unemployment tally shows a much bigger gain in employment than the survey of employer payrolls, but still less than in 1984.
The reason is that unemployment is falling not just because of job creation but because the pool of people who want to work, the labour force, is not growing. Many people seem to have dropped out of the labour force for good, perhaps to retire, collect disability, or return to education. And their ranks could grow. Typically, those who have been unemployed the longest are the most likely to drop out of the job hunt. But Alan Krueger, an economist at Princeton, says that has changed.
失业率下降的原因不是因为创造了就业机会，而是因为愿意工作的人群，也就是劳动力队伍，并没有扩大。 许多人似乎已经永远退出了劳动力群体，也许是退休了，也许领取了残疾证，或接受继续教育。这支队伍的人数可能会增长。一般来说，那些已经很久出于失业状态的人最有可能退出找工作的群体。 但是艾伦克鲁格（普林斯顿大学经济学家）说，这发生了变化。
Since 2007, he has found, the share of the long-term unemployed that drop out of the labour force has fallen steadily. He attributes this in part to the extension of unemployment benefit to 99 weeks from the normal 26 weeks. People who might have stopped looking for work keep at it to qualify for benefits. When the extended benefits expire at the end of this year, many of the long-term unemployed may simply drop out of the labour force. Meanwhile, those with the shortest spells of unemployment are now more likely to drop out, perhaps to return to college.
自2007年以来，他已经发现，退出劳动力群体的长期事业群体的人数已稳步下降。他将此部分归因于失业救济金从正常的26个星期延长到99周。 已经失业的人，为了领取失业救济，并不急于工作。 当延长的福利在今年年底期满，与此同时，同时那些失业期限最短的人群现在更可能退出劳动力市场，也许他们重回校园深造去了。
As for those lucky enough to have jobs, pay is stagnating. Hourly earnings rose just 1.7% in the year to March, a paltry raise that will soon be eaten up by the rising cost of petrol and grocery bills. This is ominous for Mr Obama, because it is the growth in overall income that seems most closely to predict a president’s re-election chances. That means pay as well as payrolls. His re-election is far from in the bag.
至于那些幸运得到工作的人来说，工资却停滞不前。 到今年三月份每小时工资将仅上升1.7%——这点微不足道的提高将很快被上涨的汽油和杂货帐单费用抵消掉。这对奥巴马是不祥的预兆， 因为总收入的上涨似乎是总统连任机会的最好预测。这意味着工资和就业人数的同时增长。他还不能十拿九稳的获得重新选举。