Friday, February 3, 2017

Economists React to the January Jobs Report: ‘Further From Full Employment’

From the WSJ's Real Time Economics:
U.S. employers added 227,000 workers to payrolls in January, the best monthly gain since September. The unemployment rate inched up to 4.8%, partly reflecting more Americans entering the labor force, while the pace of wage growth slowed. Here are reactions from economists and analysts:

The U.S. economy was able to create more jobs than expected, without a commensurate rise in wages, suggests that we’re further from ‘full employment’ than many bulls were hoping.” —Matt Weller, Faraday Research

“The nonfarm payrolls data showed a modest ‘Trump Jump’ in January, as businesses responded to a more positive economic outlook by creating 227,000 net new jobs.” —Tim Davis, Fathom Consulting

“An improved risk-taking environment as the economy performed better than anticipated over the past month and expectations of regulatory rollbacks, possible tax cuts and a fiscal boost via infrastructure over the next two years unleashed the animal spirits in the economy that has been missing over past years.” —Joseph Brusuelas, RSM US

This is just what the doves at the Fed wanted to see. All of the numbers point towards it being more difficult to justify another hike in March.” —James Athey, Aberdeen Asset Management
“Employment growth in this recovery has been centered on lower paying jobs and, in this regard, the January jobs report didn’t disappoint. Some 50% of the increase was in temp jobs, retail, health care, and food services.” —Steven Blitz, Pangea Market Advisory

“Mining and construction led the gains. That’s great news for blue-collar workers who have struggled and are now under the political spotlight. But mining and construction are two of the most cyclical industries, and these gains will be hard to sustain. Manufacturing jobs increased slightly but lagged the overall economy.”
Jed Kolko, Indeed

“Even hourly earnings, which were expected to rise by 0.5% month-on-month, increased by only 0.1%, pulling the year-over-year down to 2.5%. This report will dampen expectations of a March rate hike.” —Steven Ricchiuto, Mizuho