Where is the puzzling growth in service jobs coming from?

Where is the puzzling growth in service jobs coming from?

Continuing with my week of follow-up stories based on last Friday’s jobs report, I noted last Friday that there was a completely anomalous upwards revision of nearly 100,000 jobs in the last 8 months of 2019. This after a -500,000 decrease, based on full data, in the previous 12 months!

So I took two approaches: a bottoms-up micro view, and a top-down macro view — and got contradictory answers. This post is up at Seeking Alpha.

Since that article was posted, a correspondent pointed out that some of the biggest upward revisions were to the retail trade. So here are a few supplemental graphs.

First, all retail jobs plus all leisure and entertainment jobs:

Next, the sectors of retail with the biggest gains:



Finally, the sectors of leisure and entertainment with the biggest gains:

As of now, we went from outright losses in the 12 months from July 2018 through July 2019, to roughly 50,000 gains per month in the 6 months since. I have a very strong feeling that these are going to be revised down substantially in the future. Since the only contrary explanation is the surge in retail sales during last spring and summer, which ended in August, this makes this Friday’s retail sales number look even more important.

As usual, clicking over and reading the article at Seeking Alpha should be educational for you, and puts a $ or 2 in my pocket.