The Two Faces Of Employment (REAL Avg Hourly Earnings At -2.80% In May, Labor Force Participation Remains Below Pre-Covid Levels)

by confoundedinterest17

There are two faces of today’s employment report.

But let’s start with US average hourly earnings growth less inflation (aka, REAL hourly earnings). It printed at -2.8% YoY, meaning that inflation is causing REAL hourly earnings to fall.

The good news is that jobs added in the latest report printed at +390k in May. This is only one face of employment. Yesterday’s ADP jobs added report was considerably lower at only 128k.

Labor force participation rose to 62.3%, but remains below pre-Covid levels.

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The unemployment rate remains the same at 3.6%, but the underemployment rate rose to 7.1%.

Jobs added?

  • Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 84,000 in May, as job growth continued in food services and drinking places (+46,000) and accommodation (+21,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 1.3 million, or 7.9 percent, compared with February 2020.
  • Employment in professional and business services rose by 75,000 in May. Within the industry, job gains occurred in accounting and bookkeeping services (+16,000), computer systems design and related services (+13,000), and scientific research and development services (+6,000). Employment in professional and business services is 821,000 higher than in February 2020.
  • In May, transportation and warehousing added 47,000 jobs. Employment rose in warehousing and storage (+18,000), truck transportation (+13,000), and air transportation (+6,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing is 709,000 above its February 2020 level.
  • Employment in construction increased by 36,000 in May, following no change in April. In May, job gains occurred in specialty trade contractors (+17,000) and heavy and civil engineering construction (+11,000). Construction employment is 40,000 higher than in February 2020.
  • In May, employment increased by 36,000 in state government education and by 33,000 in private education. Employment changed little in local government education (+14,000). Compared with February 2020, employment in state government education is up by 27,000, while employment in private education has essentially recovered. Employment in local government education is down by 308,000, or 3.8 percent, compared with February 2020.
  • Employment in health care rose by 28,000 in May, including a gain in hospitals (+16,000). Employment in health care overall is 223,000, or 1.3 percent, lower than in February 2020.
  • Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in May (+18,000). Job gains occurred in fabricated metal products (+7,000), wood products (+4,000), and electronic instruments (+3,000). Employment in manufacturing overall is slightly below (-17,000 or -0.1 percent) its February 2020 level.
  • Wholesale trade added 14,000 jobs in May, including gains in durable goods (+10,000) and electronic markets and agents and brokers (+6,000). Employment in wholesale trade is down by 41,000, or 0.7 percent, compared with February 2020.
  • Mining employment increased by 6,000 in May and is 80,000 higher than a recent low in February 2021.
  • Employment in retail trade declined by 61,000 in May but is 159,000 above its February 2020 level. Over the month, job losses occurred in general merchandise stores (-33,000), clothing and clothing accessories stores (-9,000), food and beverage stores (-8,000), building material and garden supply stores (-7,000), and health and personal care stores (-5,000).

As usual, employment in leisure and hospitality led the way.

I cannot stress the importance of declining REAL wage growth on housing (both owner-occupied and rental).

The reaction in the bond market? The 10-year Treasury yield is up (white line) along with forecast Fed rate hikes (green).



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