Monday, February 6, 2012

"The Hiring Hare Will Soon Morph Into a Tortoise"

This is a few days old but worth contemplating.
From Real Time Economics:
Hiring looks like a rabbit, but expect job growth to shift into a slower pace soon. U.S. non-farm payrolls posted gains of more than 200,000 in December and January. That pace of hiring helped to bring down the jobless rate, which slipped to a nearly three-year low of 8.3%.
Can the labor markets maintain such hippity-hoppity vigor? It seems unlikely. The drags from the euro zone, housing and deleveraging are still weighing on growth prospects. Businesses will not need to add workers at a 200,000-plus monthly pace throughout all of 2012.

In fact, the strength in December and January payrolls partly reflect two temporary events.
First, unseasonably warm weather allowed more outside economic activity. Construction payrolls, which have been dropping since 2006, increased in December and January.

Plus, the number of people who could not get to work because of bad weather last month was the lowest January total since 2006....MORE