- by New Deal democrat
- 271,000 jobs added to the economy
- U3 unemployment rate down -0.1% to 5.0%
With the expansion firmly established, the focus has shifted to wages and the chronic heightened unemployment. Here's the headlines on those:
Wages and participation rates
- Not in Labor Force, but Want a Job Now: up 97,000 from 5.935 million to 6.052 million
- Part time for economic reasons: down -269,000 from 6.036 million to 5.767 million
- Employment/population ratio ages 25-54: unchanged at 77.2%
- Average Weekly Earnings for Production and Nonsupervisory Personnel: up $.09 from $21.09 to $21.18, up +2.2%YoY. (Note: you may be reading different information about wages elsewhere. They are citing average wages for all private workers. I use wages for nonsupervisory personnel, to come closer to the situation for ordinary workers.)
The more leading numbers in the report tell us about where the economy is likely to be a few months from now. These were mainly positive.
- the average manufacturing workweek rose +0.1 hours from 41.6 hours to 41.7 hours. This is one of the 10 components of the LEI and so will affect it positively.
- construction jobs increased.by 31,000. YoY construction jobs are up 233,,000.
- manufacturing jobs were unchanged, and are up 80,000 YoY.
- Professional and business employment (generally higher-paying jobs) increased by 78,000 and are up 664,000 YoY.
- temporary jobs - a leading indicator for jobs overall increased by 24,500.
- the number of people unemployed for 5 weeks or less - a better leading indicator than initial jobless claims - fell by -37,000 from 2,363,000 to 2.326,000. The post-recession low was set 2 months ago at 2,095,000.
Other important coincident indicators help us paint a more complete picture of the present:
- Overtime rose 0.2 hours from 3.1 hours to 3.3 hours.
- the index of aggregate hours worked in the economy rose by 0.3% from 103.8 to 104.1.
- The broad U-6 unemployment rate, that includes discouraged workers fell by 0.2% from 10.0% to 9.8%.
- the index of aggregate payrolls rose by 0.6% from 124.3 to 125.2.
- the alternate jobs number contained in the more volatile household survey increased by 320,000 jobs. This represents an in crease of 1,860,000 jobs YoY vs. 2,814,000 in the establishment survey.
- G overnment jobs rose by 3,000.
- the overall employment to population ratio for all ages 16 and above rose 0.1% from 59.2% to 59.3%, and has risen by 0.1% YoY. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.4% and is down -0.4% YoY (remember, this incl udes droves of retiring Boomers).
This was obviously a very strong reoprt, which if duplicated next month strongly implies the Fed will raise rates. There were only a few negatives, including stalled labor force participation, the relatively poor household increase YoY, and the increase inthose who are out of the labor force but want a job.
Everything else - the unemployment rate, YoY wage growth, the decline in those working part-time for economic reasons, and even manufacturing hours, was positive to strongly positive.
I am particularly heartened by signs that wage growth may finally be improving, in keeping with the thesis that it would do so once the U-6 rate fell under 10%. With nonexistent inflation, it would be nice if the Fed would give labor a break.