Saturday, March 11, 2017

February 2017 Employment Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve posted these data—the last time for November 2015. Herewith an update. It covers all of 2016 as well as the first two months of 2017. I do this because of all the hoopla from the Trump administration—which tends to label good news as due to Trump, bad news as numbers-games put out by his the opposition. The data shown are from the most recent issuance by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the Employment Situation (link).

February results show that the economy added 235,000 jobs in February: February thus produced a good number, to be sure. But that number is shy of the January 2017 result by 3,000 jobs. That sort of change, again, is normal; but no big fuss had been made over the January result. And, looking back, 2016 produced, four months in which job growth exceeded the 235,000 jobs-gain number. So we’re in effect just soldiering on. Note, however, that February 2016 produced 237,000 jobs, beating this year’s result under an Obama Administration. That surely can't be true, can it?

Alas. When looking at a long history of employment growth (or decline), as we do when looking at the information in the graphic above, the year so far shows no obvious sign of a coming “revolution” in job gains. To be sure, the next graphic, which projects full-year 2017 results from two months’ data, suggests that 2017 is on track to be second best to 2014  since the Great Recession: