Longest Job Expansion Continues: 97 Months


Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported jobs data for October 2018. Payroll jobs grew at 250,000 which means that the longest job expansion streak continues, now for 97 months.  The job numbers beat expectations and the revisions to the prior two months off set each other to come in at zero.  Job creation in 2018 has beaten my expectations by a lot. This has been one the best job creation years we have had in recent history– especially when one takes into account the duration of this economic expansion and our demographics.  We are now less than one year away from  having the longest economic expansion ever recorded in U.S. history.

At the beginning of the year, I anticipated we would create 157,000 jobs per month, at best. Year to date, we are pushing an average of 213,000 jobs per month.  I don’t believe this rate of job creation can last but for now let’s enjoy how well the U.S. job market is doing in 2018.

In 2017 I wrote:

“For 2018 I am predicting monthly job creation numbers in the 157,000 – 129,000 range, which is still well above population growth, but lower than last year. With over 6,000,000 job openings in play that number should be attainable.” 


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

“Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing. ”


This a breakdown of the jobs created for the last month.

From BLS:

This is a look at the earnings breakdown for the previous month.

From BLS: 

Wage growth is running at 3.1% on a 12-month average. The 3 month average fell to 3.4%. This means that real wage growth is growing higher, since headline CPI inflation has been falling.  If oil prices go lower this will boost the real average hourly wage.

From  The Atlanta Fed:

November wage gains

From Doug Short:

October CPI short

Job growth continues to outperform my expectations. We are producing over double the number of jobs needed for population growth.  This is a solid reflection of our American work ethic, especially considering the duration of this economic cycle.

Today, the U6 Unemployment Rate is still below the pre-recessions lows.

From Doug Short:
November U6

One final note for those in Southern California: I will be part of a housing panel on November 8th in Mission Viejo to talk about the state of housing and what to look for in 2019.  You can purchase a tickets here .



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