Friday, February 5, 2010

Thoughts on the Payrolls Number

Here are some random thoughts on the report:

1.) From the household data, we have some very good news. The civilian labor forice increased from 153,059 to 153,170. This forms the denominator of the unemployment percentage calculation. The number of unemployed decreased from 15,267 to 14,837. This means the unemployment rate decreased because the number of people unemployed actually decreased. This is a very good development.

2.) From the household data: the number of people employed increased from 137,792 to 138,333. While this number jumps around an awful lot, the size of the jump is also good news.

3.) not in the labor force dropped from 83,865 to 83,663. This means some people reentered the labor force -- also healthy.

4.) The unemployment rate decreased from 10% to 9.7% -- three tenths of a percent.

5.) While goods-producing industries saw an overall decline (-60,000) manufacturing saw an increase of 11,000.

6.) Since September 2009, temporary help services employment has risen by 247,000. This is a leading indicator.

7.) Average weekly hours increased from 33.8 to 33.9.

8.) Average hourly earnings increased from $22.41 to $22.45