Reclaiming Common Sense

The May Jobs report, or Employment Situation Report was strong. We saw unemployment fall and full-time jobs rise. This column has written a number of articles on this report:

  • "Seriously Strong Full-time Job Gains this May" examined the Current Population Survey (CPS) data and the Current Employment Statistics Data. CPS jobs are at an all-time high. CES workers are at an all-time high. May Unemployment is at levels, real numbers,  not seen since May 1999 or May 2000, with tens of millions more workers in the workforce population.
  • "May Wages Up, May Workers Up" details how the number of workers were up in ten out of eleven sectors, as compared to May 2017. Hourly wages were up for all eleven sectors. When Wages are Up and Workers are up Gross Annual Wages rise and the economy can expand.
  • "Five Presidents at 16 Month" compared President Trump's accomplishments with Former Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W Bush, and Obama. President Trump has added 5.999 million non-seasonally adjusted full-time jobs (CPS.) He has also trimmed half a million part-time jobs. Participation is up since January 2017. Unemployment is down. That is a tough trick to do.
  • "Men and Women with Record Levels of Full-time Jobs" looks at the "Jobs Mountain" that has released the "Jobs Iceberg." Men lost over 10 million full-time jobs between July 2007 and January 2010. Men had fewer full-time Jobs during January 2017, President Obama's final month in office, than they had during July 2007 while he was "just a Senator." 
  • "May Sector Data: Three Sectors with Room to Grow" detailed how three sectors are still not back to pre-recession levels of workers.

The participation rate is a function of the number of full-time jobs, the number of part-time jobs, the number of unemployed workers, and the workforce population. The number of jobs remain the same whether one person works two jobs or two people work two jobs. We have  7.4 million people working multiple jobs. We had 129 million full-time jobs, 27 million part-time jobs and 6 million unemployed workers. The number of part-time jobs fell last month. The drop in unemployed workers dropped the participation a little, the drop in part-time jobs dropped the participation a little, and the surge in full-time jobs was greater than the drop in unemployment and part-time jobs so the participation rate improved. A drop in part-time jobs could be seen in the number of people working a FT job and a PT job and the number of people working two PT jobs. 

We have fewer than 8 million people working multiple jobs. This is significant. It is possible that some people no longer have to work two jobs for benefits or earning. 

We have fewer than 2 million people working two part-time jobs. "Julia." the fictitious character to represent the part-time worker that received health care while working one or more 30 hour a week jobs may have found full-time work with benefits. 

We still have more than 4 million people working a full-time and a part-time job as a secondary job. We have had more FT PT workers during the month of May and we have had fewer FT PT workers during the month of May. 

We have seen a drop in the number of multiple job workers during April, May, June and July of 2017 and April and May of 2018. Will we see a decline in PT jobs during June this year? Will we see another June drop in multiple job workers during June? We are in a transition period. That much is obvious. We have seen more jobs added to the economy than workers have been added to the economy, that boosts participation. We have seen millions of unemployed workers drop of the U-3 unemployment tally. That drop participation.   If jobs increase and multiple job holders drop we could be seeing am increase in participation as a result. We need to continue seeing more jobs created than workers entering the workforce in order to see participation improve more than it has improved since January 2017.

It's the economy.