- by New Deal democrat
Let me catch up with some details from last Friday’s employment report.
As a preliminary matter, the overwhelming take was that the poor +20,000 gain was “nothing to see here, just an outlier.” The problem with that take is that, for all of 2018, the average monthly gain in jobs was just over +200,000 a month. January came in more than 100,000 above that, at +311,000 jobs, and yet I don’t recall anyone taking the same position, that it was just an “outlier” to the positive side then! Here’s a graph, from which the 2018 average of 204,500 monthly jobs gain has been subtracted, so that the variance from that average shows as positive or negative:
The bottom line is that, even averaging January with February, all of the leading employment indicators show some deterioration, but none of them are at a point where I would expect them to be if a recession were imminent.