It now appears that soft numbers in 2015 on consumer spending, durable goods orders and industrial activity were telling us something meaningful.
The nation added only 126,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent. Those terrific numbers from January and February now look a bit less terrific, as revisions subtracted 69,000 positions from the previously reported job gains. In a silver lining to the soft numbers on job gains, average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent, continuing the erratic, muddy picture that is emerging on whether American workers are starting to see meaningful wage gains.
...the soft numbers on job gains...continu[e] the erratic, muddy picture emerging on whether Americans...[will] see meaningful wage gains.
…The truth is, a quarter of the way through 2015, we still don’t have a particularly good handle on whether this is shaping up to be a great year for the economy, on par with the late 1990s, or one of sluggish muddling-through typical of the last five years.
The lower unemployment rate should mean that employers looking to add workers must get in bidding wars, driving up wages and creating a virtuous circle of higher worker pay, higher consumer spending and stronger growth. There is plenty off anecdotal evidence that employers are raising pay, including a decision this week by McDonald’s to increase its minimum hourly wage for company-owned restaurants.
...creating a virtuous circle of higher worker pay, higher consumer spending and stronger growth [does not match the] ...evidence, ...murky at best.
But, as mentioned above, the evidence that pay is rising more quickly is murky at best. …The good news is that if you look at the longer time horizon, the job market still looks quite strong. Job gains have averaged 261,000 a month over the last six months.
Related posts by Deb:
- Int’l Coaching Week in SE Michigan is coming May 18-24, 2015. Reserve a group speed coaching session for your business leaders today.