Friday, March 4, 2016

"February jobs report: solid headlines, decidedly mixed internals"

From the Bonddad blog:
- by New Deal democrat
  • +242,000 jobs added to the economy
  • U3 unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9%
With the expansion firmly established, the focus has shifted to wages and the chronic heightened unemployment.  Here's the headlines on those:
Wages and participation rates
  • Not in Labor Force, but Want a Job Now: down  -103,000 from 5.973 million to 5.870 million
  • Part time for economic reasons: unchanged at 5.988
  • Employment/population ratio ages 25-54: up +0.1% from 77.7% to 77.8% 
  • Average Weekly Earnings for Production and Nonsupervisory Personnel: unchanged at $21.32,  up +2.4%YoY. (Note: you may be reading different information about wages elsewhere. They are citing average wages for all private workers. I use wages for nonsupervisory personnel, to come closer to the situation for ordinary workers.)
December and January were revised upward by +9,000 and +22,000, for a net change of +31,000. 
The more leading numbers in the report tell us about where the economy is likely to be a few months from now. These were neutral to negative.
  • the average manufacturing workweek was unchanged at 41.8 hours (but last month was revised up +0.1.  This is one of the 10 components of the LEI, the net will be a posittive.
  • construction jobs +19,000.  YoY construction jobs are up +253,000.  
  • manufacturing jobs decreased by -16,000, and are up +25,000 YoY.
  • Professional and business employment (generally higher-paying jobs) increased by +23,000 and are up 604,000 YoY.
  • temporary jobs - a leading indicator for jobs overall decreased by -9,800.
  • the number of people unemployed for 5 weeks or less - a better leading indicator than initial jobless claims - increased by +48,000 from 2,249,000 to 2.297,000.  The post-recession low was set 6 months ago at 2,095,000.
Other important coincident indicators help us paint a more complete picture of the present:...MORE