Nonfarm Payroll Report Fails to Impress
Today is the first Day of September; and since it is the first day of a new month, and it is a Friday, we got the nonfarm payroll report. The consensus forecast was about 180,000 jobs. The number came in at 156,000, well below the consensus. To make it worse, they revised down the prior 2 months by about 20,000 jobs each. The unemployment rate notched up from its 16-year low. When Donald Trump, the candidate called 5% unemployment the greatest hoax on the American people, well, it’s got to be an even greater hoax, now that it is 4.4%.
Donald Trump’s Huge Reversal
I just put up a video on my YouTube channel, Donald Trump’s Huge Reversal. I juxtaposed a lot of clips of Candidate Trump with President Trump. Candidate Trump talked about how terrible the economy and how the numbers are so phony and now he is embracing those same numbers, and of course it is the same with the stock market, calling it a big, fat ugly bubble. The stock market today continued to strengthen throughout the week, including in the aftermath of this weaker than expected nonfarm payroll number.
Some Silver Linings
Labor force participation held steady at 62.9, still very low. Average hourly earnings, which happened to be up .3% last month, the biggest gain we’ve seen in a while, in August it was up ,1% ; vert meager increases in average hourly earnings. A lot of that may have to do with the higher minimum wages – just talking about minimal amounts of money here. The average work week actually ticked down from 34.5 hours to 34.4 hours, so Americans working slightly more hours and getting barely more money.
Is This The Beginning of a New Trend?
This was a relatively weak report; there were 2 bright spots; there was that there was a decline in government workers and a better than expected increase in manufacturing. We did see an increase of 36,000 manufacturing jobs; a lot more than the expected 9,000. We do have a 2-month jump in manufacturing jobs. The question is, “Is this the beginning of a new trend?”