Longest Job Expansion Continues: 89 Months


Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported jobs data for February 2018. Payroll jobs grew to 313,000 which means that the longest job expansion streak continues, now for 89 months.  We had positive revisions of 54K to the previous’ s months data, but average hourly earnings did drop back to 2.6%– which is something I warned about in my article on the last report.  One-off hot prints on wages are not unusual.

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

 Where oh where are those Americans bears who have been whining since 2009 about how pathetic,  how poor, how useless our economy has been and how we are on a verge of the greatest collapse ever because the bond market is in a bubble? Hello?  Bueller?

Our country is bigger than any sitting President or any doomsday political economic hack. Since 1790 the Americans naysayers have failed– not because they’re soft individuals (which they are), but because the place more value in spreading lies that fuel their crooked agenda than speaking the truth.  But, I digress…

Here are some details from the report:

There was a big jump in construction jobs, and, if anyone cares to notice, we are almost back to the levels of employment for construction workers that we had at the peak of the housing bubble.  But – we don’t have they housing starts data to match that time period.  This reveals the lie being told by those who have been saying that housing starts are down due to the lack of labor. We’ve got the labor –we just don’t have the starts—and we don’t have the starts because we don’t have the demand!  See how that works?

From BLS:


Here is a breakdown of wages by  job sector: MARCH JOBS 2
As is always the case, education matters when it comes to employment. High school drop outs have an unemployment rate of 5.7% while college educated Americans are running at 2.3%

This report had good revisions and a good headline number. I expected a decline in wage growth and we probably will have lower than 313,000 prints in the next several months. However, I expected on the high end only 157K avg monthly job growth for 2018,  so we are outperforming my expectations so far.  The 13 month average for job gains is running at almost 191K now, excellent action for a later stage cycle. I know a lot people think we are near full employment.  It is true that job gains are slowing, but we are still producing more than twice the jobs needed for population growth and job openings are still at 5,800,000, so I believe we have some room to go. If we start to print between 83K-118K on payroll jobs with job openings declining we can discuss if we have reached near full employment.

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

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