Good Friday AM,
The jobs report always bring volatility with it and today, is no different.
It would be nice if we had could plot the trajectory of all things (economy, jobs, inflation, rates) with some certainty, but I guess that wouldn’t be as much fun. Toda’s data was strong, super strong. That said, February and March job gains were revised down by a combined 149,000. That pushes the three-month average for employment growth to 222,000, the lowest since early 2021 and a sign that the broader trend for hiring is easing.
• Non-Farm Payrolls 253K vs expectations of 179K
• Unemployment Rate 3.4 vs 3.5
• Avg Hourly Earnings Month over month 0.5 vs 0.3
To Paraphrase the WSJ: So, with that, there have been and are plenty of signs the U.S. economy is stumbling. Those signs are just not readily apparent in today’s report. The unemployment rate matched a half-century low and wage growth picked up despite financial-sector turmoil, rising interest rates, high inflation and reports of layoffs in tech, finance and elsewhere. The outlook might be uncertain, but there are still many employers who want workers–and many Americans willing to work (at least for the right price).
But there is another part of the story.. Employment gains are definitely slowing..
And, employers have been cutting hours, though the most recent moves simply bring the work week back near its pre-pandemic norm.
Hiring of temporary workers has been trending lower since late last year.
Temp hiring, or firing, can be a bellwether for the broader labor market–companies often add a contract worker before committing to a permanent hire. Likewise, temp workers are some of the first to go.
Do we need more than a quasi-deep dive on employment for Cinco De Mayo?
Please remain safe and stay healthy, enjoy the weekend and first, make today great!