By New Deal Democrat
- 151,000 jobs added to the economy
- U3 unemployment rate down -0.1% to 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: up 87,000 from 5.886 million to 5.973 million
- Part time for economic reasons: down 34,000 from 6.022 million to 5.988 million
- Employment/population ratio ages 25-54: up +0.3% from 77.4% to 77.7%
- Average Weekly Earnings for Production and Nonsupervisory Personnel: up $.06 from $21.27 to $21.33, up +2.-%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.)
November was revised upward by 28,000. December was revised downward by 30,000, for a net change of -2,000.
The more leading numbers in the report tell us about where the economy is likely to be a few months from now. These were generally positive.
- The average manufacturing workweek rose from 41.6 hours to 41.7 hours. This is one of the 10 components of the LEI and will be a positive.
- Construction jobs increased by 18,000. YoY construction jobs are up 264,000.
- Manufacturing jobs increased by 29,000, and are up 45,000 YoY.
- Professional and business employment (generally higher-paying jobs) increased by 9,000 and are up 620,000 YoY.
- Temporary jobs - a leading indicator for jobs overall decreased by -25,200.
- The number of people unemployed for 5 weeks or less - a better leading indicator than initial jobless claims - decreased by -156,000 from 2,405,000 to 2.249,000. The post-recession low was set 5 months ago at 2,095,000.
Other important coincident indicators help us paint a more complete picture of the present:
- Overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours.
- The index of aggregate hours worked in the economy rose by 0.4 from 104.9 to 105.3.
- The broad U-6 unemployment rate that includes discouraged workers was unchanged at 9.9%.
- The index of aggregate payrolls rose by 0.9 from 126.9 to 127.8.
Other news included:
- The alternate jobs number contained in the more volatile household survey increased by 615,000 jobs. This represents an increase of 2,440,000 jobs YoY vs. 2,665,000 in the establishment survey.
- Government jobs fell by -7,000.
- The overall employment to population ratio for all ages 16 and above rose by .1 to 59.6 m/m and +0.3% YoY. The labor force participation rate rose 0.1% from 62.6% to 62.7% and is down -0.2 % YoY (remember, this includes droves of retiring Boomers).
The headline employment number was a little light this month, but look at the great internals:
- average wages rose smartly
- aggregate hours also rose smartly
- wages and hours for December were revised upward. This means that real aggregate wages had a big increase, probably over 1% in just one month.
- part time for economic reasons declined
- the employment population ratio for prime working ages 25 54 rose by 0.3% and has finally made up more than 1/2 of its loss from the Great Recession
There were only a few negatives:
- the broad U6 unemployment rate did not fall
- those not in the labor force who want a job now rose
- temporary jobs fell
Bottom line: January was a great month for workers' paychecks. Finally!