Longest Job Expansion Continues: 88 Months

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Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported jobs data for January 2018. Payroll jobs grew to  200,000 which means that the longest job expansion streak continues, now for 88 months. We already have the longest job expansion on record, almost double the previous record and we in striking range of having the longest economic expansion on record too. This has never happened once in U.S. history where we had the longest job expansion and economic expansion in the same cycle.

Where or where are my American bear friends now?  Was all that yapping from the extreme right and left about “the new normal”, secular stagnation and the 96 million Americans who were out of work (aka, the ghost hoard), worth our attention?

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

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 9 cents to $26.74, following an 11-cent gain in December. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 75
cents, or 2.9 percent. 

Don’t take the wage growth number in this report too seriously. Wait until we see a few months of 2.9% wage growth before you draw a conclusion. For wage growth data it is not atypical to have a one-off number that comes back to trend in the following months. Be mindful of the wage growth data in the next few reports because we should be seeing better year over year numbers in 2018.

 

88… As in 88 consecutive months of jobs growth, by far the longest streak in history.

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Below is a breakdown of the jobs created this month. We see good numbers for both construction and manufacturing.

From BLS: https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/

FEB JOBS BREAKDOWN

Below is a breakdown of the wage data from the jobs created.

FEB JOB WAGE BREAKDOWN

Recently on a Facebook Live, I warned people that we are starting to see some early indications in the economy that resemble what we see in a later stages of an economic and business cycle, but we are not in recession warning territory yet. Don’t listen to politicians, political and economic ideologues or the extreme left and right, all who call recession at the drop of a hat. Instead follow the data.  This it would have saved a lot people the embarrassment of being wrong about this economic expansion.

From Doug Short:
https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2018/02/02/january-jobs-report-200k-new-jobs-better-than-forecast

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Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the housing market
Logan 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