- by New Deal democrat HEADLINES: +196,000 jobs added U3 unemployment rate unchanged at 3.8% U6 underemployment rate unchanged at 7.3% Leading employment indicators of a slowdown or recession I am highlighting these because many leading indicators overall strongly suggest that an employment slowdown is coming. The following more leading numbers in the report tell us about where the economy is likely to be a few months from now. With one exception, these either decelerated or outright declined. the average manufacturing workweek was unchanged 40.7 hours. This is one of the 10 components of the LEI. It is down -0.6 hours from its peak during this expansion. Manufacturing jobs declined by -.6,000. YoY manufacturing is up 209,000, a big deceleration from last summer’s pace.
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Here are the headlines on wages and the broader measures of underemployment:
Trump specifically campaigned on bringing back manufacturing and mining jobs. Is he keeping this promise?
Other important coincident indicators help us paint a more complete picture of the present:
To begin with, all three of the jobs sectors I am watching closely - construction, manufacturing, and temporary jobs - showed a marked slowdown in growth. All three have declined over the last two months, and temporary jobs are at a virtual standstill over the last five months. Another source of concern is that the household survey’s number showed an outright loss of jobs for the month, for the second time in four months. This measure has grown by only an average of 130,000 per month for the last year. All of this heightens concern that a big slowdown in jobs growth has probably already begun.
Unemployment, underemployment, labor force participation, and the prime age employment/population ratio all either stalled or, in the last case, declined slightly.
On the bright side, wages for ordinary workers grew at 3.4% YoY, a slight slowdown from their recent best pace. Perhaps the best news was the continued strong pace of growth in aggregate hours and payrolls.