Friday, February 02, 2007

Job Market Update, January 2007

The BLS has new data about the US job market this morning:
In January, total payroll employment increased by 111,000, to 137.3 million, seasonally adjusted. This increase followed gains of 196,000 in November and 206,000 in December (as revised). In 2006, payroll employment rose by an average of 187,000 per month. In January, employment continued to increase in some service-providing industries. In addition, construction employment was up, while manufacturing employment continued to trend down.
Taking a look at some of the other numbers describing the US job market, we find that the employment-population ratio has (at least temporarily) stabilized, after a nice improvement during 2005 and 2006.

Earnings, on the other hand, did not improve in 2006 as much for American production workers as, say, Exxon-Mobile's earnings did. In recent months the drop in gas prices has pushed real earnings noticeably higher, but those earnings are still only around 2% above where they were seven years ago.

So after accounting for consumer price inflation, the average production worker takes home about $10 more per week than he or she did in the year 2000. It's no wonder that lots of people feel that economic growth is passing them by...

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