Blog Posts by Scott Moorehouse
Last Friday’s March jobs report significantly missed expectations, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 98,000 new jobs were created in the month. Analysts projected 180,000 new jobs would be created in March. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate continued to drop, reaching 4.5% for the month, while the labor force participation rate remained steady at 63%.
Last Friday brought the final jobs report of the year and of President Obama’s tenure. While the headline number of 156,000 new jobs was below analysts’ expectations, this was hardly a negative report. The most exciting news came from wages which increased by 2.9 percent - the largest year-over-year wage growth we’ve seen since 2009. Average hours remained steady, while the labor force participation rate rose to 62.7 percent.
The November Jobs Report provided another mixed bag of economic data as the unemployment rate fell, while wages and the labor force participation rate both declined. The traditional unemployment rate fell to 4.6% from 4.9% in October. The labor force participation rate remains historically low at 62.7%, but has improved compared to November 2015 when the rate was 62.5%. Looking at overall trends for 2016, the labor market shows a higher level of participation, increased average wages and lower unemployment.