The Employment Situation

Usually I describe the employment report as disappointing. But this one was just miserable.

Private sector employment only rose 69,000 and the unemployment rate ticked back up from 8.1%to 8.2%.

On a positive note, the household survey showed a gain of 422,000 and generally this series tends to lead the payroll data.


But the average work week fell from 33.5 to 33.4.  In combination with the weak employment increase this generated a significant drop of 0.2% in aggregate hours worked.  This reversed the recent strengthened in the index of hours worked as it fell back below the trend for this cycle.


Average  hourly earnings rose less than 0.1% from $23.39 to $23.41.  The year over year gain is back to an all time record low of 1.39%


 With the drop in hours worked, average weekly earnings fell $806.96 to $805.30. 

The unemployment rate rose for almost every category of workers.  One of the exception was a fall in the unemployment rate for college graduates.