The nation’s latest jobs report is open to differing opinions. Neil Irwin examines the report in his most recent The Upshot article in the “New York Times.”
On the one hand, the 20,000 jobs created in February is the lowest since September 2017. It was disappointing when compared with the totals for the last quarter of 2018, and January 2019.
On the other, “It can be seen as a corrective to some of the more buoyant possibilities suggested by the same data series in late 2018 and January 2019.
“The six-month average rate of job growth has fallen to 190,000 from 234,000.” Irwin adds, “That lower number is a better fit with everything else we know about the state of the economy – particularly a 3.8 percent unemployment and lots of anecdotal reports of scarce workers.”
Actually, there is much to like about the data. “Average hourly earnings rose 3.4 percent over the last year, the strongest in a decade. A broader measure of joblessness that captures people who are working part time but want full-time work plunged to 7.3 percent.
“Essentially, the labor market is finally working the way we want it to, with most of the people who want a job getting one and employers finding the need to raise pay to get those increasingly hard-to-find workers.”