The Employment Situation

This was another mixed employment report.  The headline increase of 171,000 increase in payroll employment and 410,000 rise in employment reported in the household survey appeared strong.  But  other signs of weakness appeared within the report.

The 184,000 increase in private payroll employment was the strongest since February.

The unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 to 7.9.  But this may actually be a bullish development because it stemmed from a 578,000 jump in the labor force.  A large increase in the labor force may mean that people are more optimistic about employment prospects and are rejoining the labor force.
Moreover, the number of people working part time for economic reasons fell -304,000.

But the  work week fell from  33.7 to 33.6 and the index of aggregate hours works fell -0.1 from 103.8 to 103.7.  Relative to the trend establish early in this cycle, hours worked has been weak for several months..

Moreover average hourly earnings was essentially unchanged as it fell from $19.80 to $19.79..
The growth in average hourly earnings plunged to  1.2%, an all time record low.


Average weekly fell from $667.26 to $664.94 and the year over year growth rate was only 1.2%, the smallest gain in this cycle.

Correction: I originally enter the weekly wage data in the hourly earnings  comment.
 I corrected this and added the weekly wage data in the proper place.