Employment Report

The employment report was basically more of the same and was very discouraging.
Even though the headline number reported a large 431,00 increase in employment, most of this was temporary Census jobs. Private employment only increased 41,000, significantly less than in the previous few months.

The unemployment rate fell, but that was just as much a result of a rise in discouraged workers as a rise in employment as measured by the household survey.

Even the diffusion index ticked down.

As in previous months the rise in aggregate hours worked rose nicely even though it was only up 0.3% as compared to 0.4% in the last few months.

Wage gains were also moderate as average hourly earnings rose 0.3% and were up only 1.9% over the last 12 months. But because of the gains in hours worked average weekly earnings continued to improve.