- by New Deal democrat
Like the past few months, I was most interested in three main issues:
1. Is the pace of job growth decelerating? (Yes, but it is still very strong by historical standards)
2. Is wage growth holding up? Is it accelerating? (It is still strong, but decelerated again slightly)
3. Are the leading indicators in the report beginning to flag? (Not yet)
We still have 822,000 jobs, or 0.5% of the total to go to equal the number of employees in February 2020 just before the pandemic hit. At the current average rate for the past 6 months of 505,000 jobs added per month, that’s 2 months from now. Perhaps even more importantly, non-managerial workers are now working in total *more* hours than they did before the pandemic hit.
Here’s my in depth synopsis of the report:
Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession
These are leading sectors for the economy overall, and will help us gauge whether the strong rebound from the pandemic will continue. These were positive:
Wages of non-managerial workers
Aggregate hours and wages:
Other significant data:
One month ago, while the Establishment report was very good, the Household report was not good at all. This month both sides of the jobs report were very positive.
While the pace of jobs growth isn’t as blistering as previously, it is still excellent by ordinary standards. The unemployment rate is still near historic lows. The leading sectors are almost all positive, indicating growth should continue. Wage growth is still very strong. With the exception of labor and hospitality, plus education, almost all sectors of the jobs market have made up, or almost entirely made up, their pandemic losses. In another two to three months we are likely to have more jobs than we did before the pandemic hit. What’s more, non-supervisory workers in total are now working a total of *more* hours than they did before the pandemic hit.
About the only soft spots were the upward tick in the underemployment rate, part of which was the continued increase in involuntary part-time workers, the 0.2% decline from best levels in the manufacturing workweek, and the second month in a row of downward revisions to previous reports.
In short, a little softening, but still very positive.