Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

Wages and Workers  Data Better than was Reported


The August Employment Situation Report, or Jobs Report, was released Friday September 7 at 8:30 AM. It was received fairly well, not as well as it should have been received. This column had projected:

  • The month to month growth data is indicating a growth between 241,000 and 327,000 SA CES workers. Summer is over. Leisure and Hospitality and "Other Services should see sharp decline. We could see a down-tick in Trade, Transportation and Utility workers as well as IT worker/s. We should record a spike in Government workers, Mining/Logging workers, Construction workers, and Manufacturing workers should all show significant non-seasonally adjusted worker growth.
  • The rolling year growth data is indicating growth between 1.93% and 1.97% annually thereby adding between 219,000 and 271,000 private sector workers, SA. All Sectors, except possibly Information Technology should add workers as compared to August 2017.
  • It was thought that we would see 200,000 to 240,000 seasonally adjusted private sector workers join the economy.

The article "August Jobs Report: Workers Up, Participation Down" detailed the data from both the Current Employment Statistics (CES) worker data and the Current Population Survey (CPS) Jobs data. The "Headline" non-farm payroll was reported higher than the "experts" had projected. There were 201,000 non-farm payroll workers added and 204,000 private sector workers added. There were concerns that the seasonally adjusted (SA) private sector data was revised down by 44,000 for July and down 29,000 for June. There were some cheers regarding improving weekly wages. When weekly wages and workers rise gross annual wages increase at a faster pace.What did the data reveal?


The largest increase month to month was in Government Workers. There were 235,000 non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) Government workers who joined the economy. There were 89,000 NSA Education and Health Services workers who joined the economy, 76,000 new people added to the Professional Business Services sector, and 20,000 new construction workers added to the economy. There were declines in Leisure and Hospitality, Other Services, Trade/Transportation/Utility, and IT. This was as expected.


The only sector that lost workers August to August was the Information Technology Sector. This, too, was expected. Mining and Logging, Construction, Manufacturing, and Professional Business Services saw the largest growth, by percentage, year to year. These have been described as the "dirty fingernail jobs."


Wages Jumped, on average, 3.35% August to August. You may have heard that it was lower than that. You have to look at the non-seasonally adjusted number of workers and the non-seasonally adjusted weekly wages for each sector. The largest annual growth were registered in the Financial Activities, Mining and Logging, Information Technology, Construction, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities. Even Leisure and Hospitality saw wages jump 3.13%.


This was exceptionally good news. Total wages are up 5.31% on an annual basis. Personal spending is only a fraction of the economy. Business spend money as well. We have a record level of workers in most sectors. The sectors that have been lagging are starting to come on strong. We have a record level of August workers and a record level of August Jobs, including a record level of full-time August jobs. How is President Trump doing compared to his predecessors? More next week. How are men doing? How are Women doing? How are teens and senior citizens doing? More next week.


It's the economy.