Friday, September 05, 2014

Payroll Employment: Best Years, Worst Month

by Calculated Risk on 9/05/2014 01:32:00 PM

One of the dumbest comments I saw this morning was from Douglas Holtz-Eakin who wrote "Disaster in August jobs!"

Really? Was this a "disaster"? I'm sure Holtz-Easkin wrote "disaster" in 1984 when payroll employment only increased 128 thousand in one month (on the way to almost 3.9 million for the year). Or "DISASTER" (all caps) in 1983 when payroll jobs plunged 308 thousand one month (on the way to almost 3.5 million for the year).

Or how about in 1997 when the economy lost 39 thousand jobs one month (on the way to 3.4 million jobs added for the year)?

For fun, below is a table of the best years for job growth since 1980 with the worst month of the year.  Obviously there is a significant amount of volatility in the employment report.

If the August report was a "jobs disaster" then there is a "disaster" every year!  It would be important if this is the start of lower employment reports, but I think that is very unlikely.

Note 1: Job growth was stronger in the '80s and '90s when the prime working age population was growing quickly.  This decade the prime working age population has actually declined, so we should expect as much job growth, see: Demographics: Prime Working-Age Population Growing Again

Note 2: I've called out Holtz-Eakin before.  He voted to ban 'the phrases "Wall Street" and "shadow banking" and also the words "interconnection" and "deregulation" from' the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commissiom report!  Oh my ...

Non-Farm Payroll: Best Years, Worst Month
YearAnnual (000s)Worst Month (000s)
19843,880128
19943,851200
19833,458-308
19973,408-39
19883,24294
19993,177107
19873,153171
19983,047124
19962,825-18
19932,817-49
20142,5851142
20052,50667
19852,502124
20132,33184
20122,23688
19952,159-16
20062,0852
20112,08370
20042,03332
12014 is the hiring pace through August.