Signs of stronger growth are showing almost everwhere but the employment data. In January payroll employment grew by 36,000 while private payroll job only expanded some 50,000. Employment as reported by the household survey grew 117,000.
This is the third consecutive jobless recovery and the payroll gains have been very weak in all three.
The unemployment rate fell to 9.0%, but that was largely due to a 504.000 contraction in the labor force. I suspect the bad weather is distorting the data and it is hard to place much faith in any of this months data.
The work week contracted and as a consequence the index of aggregate hours worked ticked down. The severe winter weather weather almost certainly impacted the average work week data as many institutions worked fewer hours because of the snow.
For the second month, however average hourly earnings growth improved as the year over year gain in hourly earnings is now 1.9% versus the low of 1.7%. But with the drop in the work week average weekly earnings weakened.