The good news
“Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent” – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
That was higher than expected.
The other good news
Wages rose 0.3% to 2.9%.
The move in wages has been anticipated because wage growth has been relatively stagnant despite record corporate profits.
The not so good news
Jobs are up and wages are up, but it appears that the averages are skewed by increasing inequality. The bottom 83% are seeing slower growth than the top 17%. Gains are not being equally felt, and the greatest gains are going to those who need it least. At the same time, job participation is relatively flat at 62.7%. Those who feel left out of the job market are seeing a different economy than the rest, and evidently aren’t getting the new jobs that are being celebrated.
The US is developing into a bifurcated economy where one set of numbers does not sufficiently describe the disparate realities.
Additional source: “US job numbers and wage growth are up” – The Guardian
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