Monday, June 10, 2019

The Record Job Streak: A couple of Comments

by Calculated Risk on 6/10/2019 12:35:00 PM

The employment report has shown positive job growth for a record 104 months.

However, if we adjust for Decennial Census hiring and firing (data here) the streak of consecutive positive jobs reports was actually 111 months long. It makes sense to adjust for the Census hiring and firing since that was preplanned and unrelated to the business cycle.

If the job streak continues into 2020, then the headline streak will probably end in June 2020 when a large number of temporary Census workers are let go.  But if we adjust for temporary Census hiring, then the streak might continue.   Of course the streak could end any time.

Note that the Census expects to hire 40 to 60 thousand workers on a temporary basis later this year, and then let them go after a few months.   Then the Census will really ramp up in the Spring of 2020.  This is why I recently wrote: How to Report the Monthly Employment Number excluding Temporary Census Hiring

Payroll jobs added per monthClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the monthly change in payroll jobs, ex-Census (meaning the impact of the decennial Census temporary hires and layoffs is removed - mostly in 2010 - to show the underlying payroll changes).

The previous longest streak was 48 months ending in 1990.  If we adjust for the 1990 Decennial Census, that streak was actually 45 months - making the streak ending in 2007 at 46 months the second longest.

Note: If you have questions about this adjustment, see this post (including my discussion with the BLS).