Reclaiming Common Sense

  The Tale of Two Data Sets was expected to End this May

Workers and Wages Were Expected to Grow Month to Month and May to May


This year has been the Tale of two data sets, the Current Population Survey (CPS) jobs and unemployment data and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) Wages and Worker Data. The disagreement between the CPS and CES data was detailed in the May Jobs Report Forecast Article. There has been some disagreement between the ADP Payroll Report and the "Jobs Report." The February Payroll Report was strong while the February Private sector data  was weak.  The following two paragraphs are from the article "May Jobs Report Surprise after ADP Disappointment."


"This May we saw 778,000 workers added to the economy. Last year we saw over 1 million non-seasonally adjusted workers join the workforce. There are a couple of ways at looking at this. This is more than were added during recessionary years during the month of May. This is better than we saw during May 2010 and May 2011, as well as May 2016, during expansionary periods. The month to month NSA CES data recorded expansion in all sectors except IT, Education and Health Services (EHS,) and Government. This was a possibility. All sectors grew annually from May to May except IT. This, too, was a possibility. 


The Seasonally Adjusted data only grew by 90,000 Private Sector Workers. This is better than the recessionary years and better than 2016. Somehow, the seasonally adjusted data for 2010and 2011 were higher than this year. This is not the first time that we have seen strong NSA CES worker data reported weaker than weaker NSA CES data. The month to month and May to May story was similar with the seasonally adjusted data as the non-seasonally adjusted data. The largest month to month growth was found in Leisure and hospitality (LAH,) Professional Business Services (PBS,) Mining and Logging, EHS, and Construction. This makes sense based on recent JOLTS job openings, quits, separations, and hiring data. May to May we only saw a decline in IT. The Largest gains were in Mining, Construction, LAH, EHS, and PBS."



We had the most ever Private Sector Workers working, during any month, during the month of May. All Sectors except Mining/Logging, Construction, Manufacturing, Government and Information are at May Historic Highs. Information was the only sector to decline from May to May.  We have 2.2 million more private sector workers this May than Last May. We have 376,000 more private sector workers than we had during November of 2018 during "Peak Christmas."


Every Sector saw their highest weekly wage level for the Month of may this May. Wages were up between 1.93% for LAH and 5.08% for IT. Hours worked increased between 1.44% for Manufacturing and 6.55% for IT. When the growth in workers and the growth in weekly wages are combined the total wages earned rose 4.55% between May 2018 and May 2019. Last month the growth was 2.54% in wages, 1.23% for hours worked, 3.23% for total income as the workforce grew by 1.97%. All of this data relates to the private sector. We do not have government wage data available from the CES database.


 "All recessions are job recessions." That has been said in this column in many articles. As long as the same month data is better than the prior year we are expanding. If wages rise and workers rise then total income rises. If total income rises than retail sales, and home sales, can expand. If real estate expands and retail expands then GDP expands.


It's the Economy.