March 11, 2018

How Good Was February’s Jobs Report? This Good

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:32 pm

To be clear before getting into this, January’s jobs report was far worse than seasonally adjusted figures advertised. Not seasonally adjusted job losses (which always happen in January) of 3.058 million (revised in February’s report) were the second-worst for any month on record, exceeded only by the deep-recession 3.690 million lost in January 2009 as the nation went into full fear-and-loathing mode over Barack Obama’s arrival in the White House (and yes, Obama’s behavior during the transition accelerated job losses and deepened the recession in the months before he arrived, and I would argue deliberately so.).

I bring up January’s bad news because it partially — but nowhere near fully — offsets February’s really good news.

With that out of the way, let’s note what happened in February before seasonal adjustments. What happened is that the economy added 1.224 million jobs.

I mentioned Friday that it was the highest February figure in the 79 years (80 Februarys) BLS has issued monthly payroll jobs data.

What I didn’t realize is that February’s 1.224 million actual jobs added is the third-highest not seasonally adjusted figure reported in ANY month during the past 79 years (exceeded only in September 1983 and April 1978, and not adjusted for workforce size).

This is made all the more impressive by the fact that February, the first of five months (Feb.-June) during which the economy almost always actually adds large numbers of jobs (i.e., before seasonal adjustment), has only been the highest of those five months during two of the past 79 years (2013 and 2017).

Thus, though no cause for premature celebration, especially because some of Febrary’s pickup may have occurred because January’s losses were exaggerated, there remains a distinct possibility, to coin the old phrase, that “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”


1 Comment

  1. [...] as I explained in Friday and Sunday posts at my home blog, the underlying raw (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) numbers are even [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — March 11, 2018 @ 3:10 pm

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