'Hey Fellow Nerds!': Economists React To August Jobs Report On Twitter
The U.S. economy continues to sustain strong job growth. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 201,000 in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, marking the country's 95th straight month of employment gains. The unemployment rate remained at 3.9%.
Construction employment continued to trend up, adding 23,000 jobs in August after adding 19,000 jobs in July. Construction employment has increased by 297,000 new hires over the year.
The report did reduce the employment numbers for June by 40,000 jobs, and further reduced summer employment gains by revising the July report down another 10,000 jobs. With these revisions, the average monthly job gains over the previous three months is 185,000.
Average hourly earnings for employees on private payrolls rose by 10 cents to $27.16 in August, a year-over-year increase of 2.9%.
Here's how economists and others reacted to the jobs report on Twitter.
The 201,000 jobs added in August were basically smack on the recent average. As always, the really striking thing is the durability of the trend -- 95 straight months of mostly steady growth. pic.twitter.com/s07SPkJOuz— Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) September 7, 2018
With downward revisions to jobs in June/July the pace of job growth is a little slower than we had thought. But still remarkable that it is faster than in previous years--when normally it should be slowing at this stage of the cycle.— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) September 7, 2018
This feels like a fairly hawkish jobs report for the Fed. Strongest wage gains in a long time paired with negative trends on labor force participation imply an economy starting to strain at capacity.— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) September 7, 2018
A stand-out from today’s employment report was the constructive pop in earnings – up 0.4% m/m taking the y/y up to 2.9% for a cycle high. The struggle: the erosion from inflation which has more than offset this improvement. pic.twitter.com/ExlfOpSP9M— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) September 7, 2018
The best thing about the report was the bump in wage growth, to 2.9% Y-Y. We flirted with 2.8% at times last year but this is now the best performance of average hourly earnings since the crisis, though still below the pre-crisis growth pace. pic.twitter.com/gvJ8jU9qq9— Ernie Tedeschi (@ernietedeschi) September 7, 2018
Hey fellow nerds! Here's my jobs take. Too soon to tell, but there's just maybe a long-awaited upturn in trend wage growth. And I see no signs of overheating (see figure). #Goldilocks! https://t.co/U3dgM47EPt pic.twitter.com/Wz6XLuI6Si— Jared Bernstein (@econjared) September 7, 2018
Bad month for retail trade - but reminder that it's been doing much better this year. Manufacturing also down - but way too soon to start speculating about why that is off of a possible one-month aberration. pic.twitter.com/ni5CRtaACy— Martha Gimbel (@marthagimbel) September 7, 2018
Nominal wage gains are improving a bit (0.3-0.5 p.p. from last year)— Jay C. Shambaugh (@JayCShambaugh) September 7, 2018
which is great, but inflation up by more (0.8-0.9 p.p.)
So wage growth is not keeping up with inflation. Need bigger increases in wage growth or a lower inflation (both possible) for workers to see more gains.
So overall, on the economics, stable trends that have operated for years continue.— Aaron Sojourner (@aaronsojourner) September 7, 2018
Financial crisis & Great Recession put us in a deep hole. We've been climbing out of it for years. pic.twitter.com/JyPwQyfGz9