According to the unemployment data released this morning, the economy added only 54,000 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate up to 9.1 percent. However, this report from MarketWatch suggests the data is much worse than that:
McDonald’s ran a big hiring day on April 19 — after the Labor Department’s April survey for the payrolls report was conducted — in which 62,000 jobs were added. That’s not a net number, of course, and seasonal adjustment will reduce the Hamburglar impact on payrolls. (In simpler terms — restaurants always staff up for the summer; the Labor Department makes allowance for this effect.) Morgan Stanley estimates McDonald’s hiring will boost the overall number by 25,000 to 30,000. The Labor Department won’t detail an exact McDonald’s figure — they won’t identify any company they survey — but there will be data in the report to give a rough estimate.
If Morgan Stanley is correct, about half of last month’s job growth came from the venerable fast-food chain. That is hardly the sign of a healthy economy.