AUG#: +130,000 jobs.

Unemployment up at 3.7%...AUG jobs under Trump HERE

Friday, March 9, 2018

February 2018: Job Growth Under Trump

Jobs Numbers were released today, Friday, March 9, 2018, for February 2018.  This is the 13th month of jobs reports under Trump.   We are still adding jobs, and we added 313,000 jobs in February.

I will repeat from last month that it is a good thing for the people of the country that we are still adding jobs considering the uncertainty and absurdity of many of the President's policies.   Please also be aware that, while tax cuts may cause a short term increase in the number of jobs, they often lead to a recession with loss of jobs a few years down the line.  They also often lead to inflation-adjusted wage erosion.  We also don't know the impact of the tariffs which have just been announced in the last week, but large tariffs, particularly when enacted using a cudgel vs. a scapel, also tend to lead to recession and job loss.

How are we doing compared to the last 5-6 years of the Obama Presidency?
Let's not just look at raw jobs numbers, but let's look at the percentage increase in jobs numbers over six month periods.  That will even out the jobs numbers, which tend to vary quite a bit month to month.  Each bar represents the % increase in jobs over a 6 month period ending in the designated month.  Blue bars represent six month periods during the Obama Presidency; green bars represent six month periods overlapping Obama and Trump Presidencies; red bars represent six month periods during the Trump Presidency.

Here is what job growth has looked like over the past five years when calculated as a percentage increase over any running six month period:
Source:  Change in BLS jobs numbers from chart CES0000000001
over any 6 month period as a %.  (68 = .68% increase in # of jobs.)
You will have to click on the graph to really see it, but compare the red sticks on the right (job growth under Trump) with the green and blue sticks.  Job growth has been slowing slightly since 2015.  Job growth is perhaps slightly lower but not any better under the Trump administration than it was during the five month transition period (green sticks) or the Obama years (blue sticks) displayed on this graph.  

What does the future hold for job growth under Trump? 

We really don't know.  We know that job growth is usually better under Democratic administrations, but  there's nothing predictive there.  Basically, though, Trump crows about job growth... but, compared to the last years of the Obama administration, it really isn't that great (so far) or that special, even with the 313,000 jobs added in February. 

February 2018: Unemployment Rate, Jobs

The February 2018 Jobs Report was released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning, Friday, March 9, 2018.  Job growth was strong and the unemployment rate remained stable.

  • The report showed an increase of 313,0000 jobs which was quite a bit more than the 200,000 additional jobs that the pundits expected.

  • The unemployment rate continued at 4.1% for the fifth consecutive month.
Other February 2018 Job Report Highlights: 
  • Year-over-year (February 2017 to February 2018) we have added about 2,281,000 jobs; slightly less than the 2,443,000 jobs added year-over-year from February 2016 to February 2017.
  • In 2017 we added about 2.2 million jobs; slightly less than the 2.3 million jobs we added in 2016.
  • Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 242,000 per month.  Over the past 12 months, job gains have averaged  190,000 per month.
  • The number of employed people increased by 785,000 in the month; the number of employed people increased by 2,704,000 year-over-year.
  • The number of unemployed people INCREASED by  22,000 as 806,000 people joined the labor force during the month.
  • The number of unemployed people decreased by 780,000 year over year even as 1,924,000 people joined the labor force.  (You don't have to be receiving unemployment benefits to be counted as unemployed; you merely need to be looking for work.)
  • 729,000 MORE people are working full-time and 277,000 MORE  people were working part-time in February vs. January in seasonally-adjusted numbers.
  • Compared to February 2017, 2,674,000 MORE people are working full-time and 22,000  MORE people are working part-time using seasonally adjusted numbers. 
  • The alternate unemployment rate (U-6) stayed the same at 8.2% this month.  A year ago the U-6 rate was 9.2%.
  • The Labor Force participation rate has been VERY stable since 2014, varying between 62.4% and 63%.  It was 63.0% in February 2018, up 0.3% from January 2018.  It was 62.9% a year ago, in February 2017.
  • Remember that there is NO ideal labor force size, and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation RATE over the last few years has been due to Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers.
Revisions from the last BLS report: 
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up from +160,000 to +175,000, and the change for January was revised up from +200,000 to +239,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 54,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 242,000 over the last 3 months. 

February reports (to be updated as new reports are published):

More reports will be added in the coming hours.  Please check back!


Various prognosticators were estimating that around 200,000 new jobs were created in February.  That would have been slightly above the 192,000 average new jobs created in each of the last three months.  However, with new jobs at 313,000 in February, the average new jobs created in the last 3 months is 242,000, a significant increase.

Meanwhile, the payroll processor ADP estimated that we added 235,000 private sector jobs in February, they also revised their January estimate from 234,000 to 244,000 new jobs.  ADP's estimates had been somewhat higher than the BLS numbers over the last few months, but February appears to be an exception.