Reclaiming Common Sense

February Jobs Report - Partying like it is 1999.

This week was a slow week for economic data. The short month of February through off the normal schedule of the first Friday release of the Jobs Report for February - President Trump's first jobs report. The spoiler this week was the ADP jobs report which reports seasonally adjusted job creation. That data was really good and caught almost everyone off-guard. The Unemployment Claims report was solid. The ultimate report released this week was the "Remarkable February Jobs Report."

(March 8) This column, and its parallel column "Reclaiming Common Sense" have questioned the reporting of the ADP number. It is seasonally adjusted. The Bureau of Labor does not publish its seasonal factors. The article "ADP Number was 298,000. Does it Matter?" digs into these details and others.

(March 9) It is interesting that the "Does it Matter" column was written the day preceding the weekly unemployment claims report. What used to be headline news is now the Rodney "I don't get no respect" Dangerfield report of economic reports. "Unemployment Claims Up; Still Good" digs into the unadjusted data and the seasonally adjusted (SA) data. We are still at seventeen year lows, non-seasonally adjusted, for this time of year, for both the first-time unemployment (FTU) claims and the continuing claims. The SA FTU level is not as good as it is being reported.

(March 10 ) Friday we saw the release of one of the best February Jobs Reports for the month of February since 1999.Other outlets report the seasonally adjusted data. This column addresses both the seasonally adjusted and the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA)data. The article "Remarkable February Jobs Report" details how the number of combined full-time and part-time jobs was the best February since, and including, February 2003. This is the strongest month of growth, month to month percent change, for private sector workers since February 1999. If any of the seasonal factors that were used to convert the NSA February Private Sector worker number to the SA number between 2000 and 2015,  the private sector number that, is reported in the press the official number would have been over 300,000 workers and as high as 453,000 workers.  Unemployment fell. Participation has started to recover.

This week was a slow week for data and for columns. Next week this column will produce more articles on the February Jobs Report. Preliminary research show some improvement for those under the age of 30. We saw improvement in the jobs market and we saw a drop in the U-7 unemployment rate, that rate which factors in the missing participants to the unemployment number. There will also be an article looking at the first month data of Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump. There will also be a sector report (we saw improvements in Manufacturing, Construction, Mining, Information Technology and Government jobs during February.)Will these sector improvements impact the full-time job deficit for men that started during July 2007?

It's the economy.