By Spencer England
The headline number of payroll jobs was strong and the markets are reacting strongly to the report that 224,000 jobs were created last month. Moreover, the job gains were widespread with temporary jobs and government the only sectors to show an employment drop. Private payroll employment rose 268,000, the largest increase this cycle.
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But the household survey reported an employment drop of some 190,000. The unemployment rate is based on the household survey so the unemployment rate ticked back up to 9.0%.
On balance, this employment report showed essentially the same news as the last several reports of weak employment gains that are well below historic norms. However, by the standards of the recent jobless recoveries this cycle continues to underperform the 1990s cycle and show stronger growth than the 2000s cycle.
The workweek was unchanged so that despite the large increase in private payrolls aggregate hours worked only rose 0.2 from 100.5 to 100.7. This is about the same that we have seen for the past several months.
Average hourly earnings rose rose from $19.32 to $19.37, or 0.2%. The year over year gain in average hourly earnings remains at 1.9%, where it has been for several months. Moreover, average weekly earnings growth at 2.5% continues to moderate. But with yesterday's plunge in oil prices real earnings might actually rise this month. But the wage data shows absolutely no signs of inflationary pressure.