As noted previously, one key fly in the ointment in an otherwise better than expected jobs report (in which the participation rate also trended higher for a welcome change) was the manufacturing jobs data, which declined by 13,000. Perhaps at the end of the day this is the most important data point, since while declining government jobs at the end of the day is a good thing, government workers don't actually create anything of value for the economy. And as the chart below demonstrates, the long term trend is certainly not our friend. The second "fly", and the one that will certainly be used as a talking point by politicians, was the average unemployment duration. At 40.5 weeks, it just hit a new all time record.