Another head scratcher…please recall there are actually 2 surveys released today – one impacts the unemployment rate (household survey) while the other is the headline number.
The headline figure of +103K is not very good considering expectations but the household figure showed a decline of about half a million people who are unemployed hence the much followed unemployed rate dropped from 9.8% to 9.4%. This was 9.6% 2 months ago. Still looking into reason for the half million drop.
U6 fell back down to 16.7% but really no long term progress on that one.
Workweek flat. Average hourly earnings up 0.1%.
Labor force participation continues to be terrible. Fell another 0.2% to 64.3%. This is now about 2.3% below the long term average which does not sound like much in percentage terms but means some 4 million dropped out of the workforce the past few years and if we had a normal participation rate, the unemployment rate would be 2%ish higher…and getting worse as this figure was a substandard 64.5% last month. We continue to wonder where all these people went.
November was not revised up that much…thought it would spike higher on a revision. Up to 71K from 39K but it shows the folly in our knee jerk reactions as speculators since whatever is said today will change in a handful of weeks anyway.