2019 Job Numbers Outperform


For 2019 I predicted this:

“I expect job creation numbers to fall but stay in the range of 137,000 – 157,000 per month.”


Today BLS came out with a headline print of 145,000 and 14,000 negative revisions to the previous 2 months. This means that even though job data fell noticeably from 223,000 a month to 175,666, it is still a beat in my eye. Also, most important, the longest economic expansion and job expansion in history continues. Also, I expect negative revisions for 2018 and 2019 job data to lower the total number. Still, after the changes come, the data looks just right to me.

From BLS:

“Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 145,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs.”

A look at the monthly job gains for this report.

From BLS:

Jan Jobs per industry

Let’s take a look at all the job data together.

1. Job openings still look very healthy. Hint: For my recession bears, let openings get below hires before you go all crash on us. We are in new territory here with all the job data. So, ask yourself this. Can the United States have a significant job loss recession with openings above hires? This is a great question we should be asking everyone.

December JOLTS
Back in February of 2017, when job openings were falling, you freaked out for no reason then.  Be the detective, not the troll.

feb-jolts 2017

Unemployment claims have formed a bottom in this cycle, but they’re deficient.

From Doug Short: 

From my view, stock traders have been and are trying to time the stock market peak due to a low unemployment rate and low jobless claims for many years now. While I do understand trolling business cycles might be fun, you only get one shot to call the top before entering the record-breaking expansion graveyard for bad recession calls. There is nothing wrong with being cautious this long into the expansion. However, don’t make a one and done recession call unless you’re very sure because it’s your one shot only. After that, your credibility is out, and doubling and tripling on the forecast is not useful. Present an economic model first, give people a path to the recession rather than calling for a top, to which you have to create an excuse why it didn’t occur.

More on this subject here, especially for the Repo Man Recession Bears of October 2019

Specific Stock Traders Should Stick To Stocks Not Economics 


Remember, have a diverse economic model to call for your recession or don’t step into the economic cycle game; stick to stocks where you good at.

From Doug Short:
Jan Stocks and Unemployment rate

An all-time low on the U6 rate, keep on hating folks.

Jan U6

For 2020, my job forecast is down again, and I do expect another wave of negative revisions to the previous job data.

“I expect job numbers to fall to 98,000- 124,000 once you exclude census workers from the data.”


2020 is going to get more surgical in terms of how to read the economic data correctly. Only 3 of my 6 recession flags are up, but at some point, I will get short term bearish on the economy while keeping my long term bullish American stance. My goal now takes you into the recession when it finally happens and out. However, exposing once again the extreme right and left take on American economics because these people have joined the flat earth society in my mind. This dance with the American bears until death separates us is only in its infancy.

Remember, this cycle has produced this: 

– The Longest job expansion ever in history 111 months and going, previous record at 48 months

– The Longest economic expansion ever in history, going to close out our 11th year of the expansion this year

– The Largest job openings print ever recorded in history

– The Lowest unemployment claims vs. the civilian labor force ever recorded in history

– The most deranged extreme right and left-wing take on economics in the history of the world. Some people always want to ice skate uphill. 

For those on twitter, as long as we are arguing about full employment looks like, this is a significant first world problem to have. At some point, things will change, just not yet.

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 Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Logan.Mohtashami and is a contributor for HousingWire.