Longest Job Expansion Continues: 80 Months


Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported jobs data for May 2017. Payroll employment was lower than expected at 138,000 with 66,000  in negative revision in the 2 previous months

From BLS:  https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and mining

Some analysts would consider the numbers in this report a miss and the revisions weren’t pretty. However, at the start of the year I predicted 140K- 170K jobs created per month, on average. I’m not sure how the more bullish analysts  justified their higher expectations.  Fo 2017, we  are creating, on average, 162,000 jobs  per month, so we are still at the levels I predicted for the year.   

Call for 2017

“In fact, for 2017 I am lowering my job creation numbers again ( 3rd straight year of decline) to adjust for tightening of the labor market leading to a lack of labor force growth. We are in the early stages of a shift in demographics, when a massive group of ages 21-26, will enter the prime age labor force. This should add some much needed labor into the mix. However, look for job creation numbers monthly to come down to 140K-170K a month ,to account for labor force growth. I am still in the 1.9%-2.3% GDP camp.”


As always, the longest job expansion streak continues!

80… As in 80 consecutive months of jobs growth, by far the longest streak in history.


Taking a look at the job sectors in this report, you can see the retail sector is still losing jobs. We have had more retail job losses this year than all the people working in coal or steel in 2017.

From BLS:


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When it comes to employment,  education matters. However, we are making good strides with employment for people with less than a high school education. Today their unemployment rate hit a cycle low at 6.1%


We are making a strong push to hit the  base floor level  of the U6 unemployment rate of 8%.  We have a good shot of reaching (or falling to) that goal  this year.

From Doug Short:



The 2017 employment picture is looking as I predicted in terms of job growth.  Wages on the other hand are still trending it in the right direction this year,  but growth is sluggish. Currently,  average hourly earnings are running at 2.5%, which is still above core inflation.

All in all, 2017 looks exactly like I thought it would.  If certain analysts hadn’t  over-hyped employment expectations then then this report wouldn’t look like a miss.   Such is the world we live in.

I am happy to report that I will be speaking on U.S. economics and other topics next month at the
National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses Nexus Conference.  Hope to see you there!



Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the housing marketLogan Mohtashami is a senior loan officer at AMC Lending Group,  which has been providing mortgage services for California residents since 1987. Logan also tracks all economic data  daily on his own facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Logan.Mohtashami