- by New Deal democrat
Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession
I am still highlighting these because of their leading nature for the economy overall. These were very positive:
Wages of non-managerial workers
Aggregate hours and wages:
Other significant data:
A special note: as expected, there were outsized seasonally adjusted gains in education of 245,000, as layoffs that normally happened in July didn’t, because they happened in earlier months. There were also 27,000 census hires.
Based on some weekly data, it had been feared that there might be a significant decline in jobs this month. Instead, there was another - if smaller - rebound. Even excluding the 301,000 gain in all government jobs, the gain was 1.462 million jobs. Needless to say, this was very positive.
Gains in construction and manufacturing hours were particularly impressive, as were professional and business services. Even with those gains, however, aggregate hours and payrolls are now down from peak about what they were, percentage-wise, at the worst of the Great Recession.
The distortion in average hourly earnings continues to show that the lower class of workers is still suffering the brunt of the economic consequences of the pandemic, and desperately need continued aid.
While this report was certainly very good in *relative* terms, in absolute terms the economic devastation has continued. The increase this month was only 10% of the total percentage loss from peak of total employment. In other words, the “V” shaped jobs recovery some were hoping for has stopped materializing. Because initial jobless claims stalled out in 4 of the past 5 weeks, and nonfarm employment tends to lag this trend by a month or two, the outlook for continued job gains next month is very problematic.