- by New Deal democrat
- 151,000 jobs added to the economy
- U3 unemployment rate down -0.1% to 4.9%
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 87,000 from 5.886 million to 5.973 million
- Part time for economic reasons: down 34,000 from 6.022 million to 5.988 million
- Employment/population ratio ages 25-54: up +0.3% from 77.4% to 77.7%
- Average Weekly Earnings for Production and Nonsupervisory Personnel: up $.06 from $21.27 to $21.33, up +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 generally positive.
- the average manufacturing workweek rose from 41.6 hours to 41.7 hours. This is one of the 10 components of the LEI and will be a positive.
- construction jobs increased.by 18,000. YoY construction jobs are up 264,000.
- manufacturing jobs increased by 29,000, and are up 45,000 YoY.
- Professional and business employment (generally higher-paying jobs) increased by 9,000 and are up 620,000 YoY.
- temporary jobs - a leading indicator for jobs overall decreased by -25,200.
- the number of people unemployed for 5 weeks or less - a better leading indicator than initial jobless claims - decreased by -156,000 from 2,405,000 to 2.249,000. The post-recession low was set 5 months ago at 2,095,000.
Other important coincident indicators help us paint a more complete picture of the present:
- Overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours.
- the index of aggregate hours worked in the economy rose by 0.4 from 104.9 to 105.3.
- The broad U-6 unemployment rate that includes discouraged workers was unchanged at 9.9%.
- the index of aggregate payrolls rose by 0.9 from 126.9 to 127.8.
- the alternate jobs number contained in the more volatile household survey increased by 615,000 jobs. This represents an increase of 2,440,000 jobs YoY vs. 2,665,000 in the establishment survey.
- Government jobs fell by -7,000.
- the overall employment to population ratio for all a ges 16 and above rose by .1 to 59.6 m/m and +0.3% YoY. The labor force participation rate rose 0.1% from 62.6% to 62.7% and is down -0.2 % YoY (remember, this incl udes droves of retiring Boomers).
The headline employment number was a little light this month, but look at the great internals:
- average wages rose smartly
- aggregate hours also rose smartly
- wages and hours for December were revised upward. This means that real aggregate wages had a big increase, probably over 1% in just one month.
- part time for economic reasons declined
- the employment population ratio for prime working ages 25 54 rose by 0.3% and has finally made up more than 1/2 of its loss from the Great Recession
There were only a few negatives:
- the broad U6 unemployment rate did not fall
- those not in the labor force who want a job now rose
- temporary jobs fell
Bottom line: January was a great month for workers' paychecks. Finally!