About February’s great jobs report …

Reading the headlines, it’s happy days again.

In February, employers added 242,000 jobs.

Pretty good, right?



Well, unfortunately, there’s a rub …


You see, concurrently both hours worked and average wages dipped,

Average hours worked dropped from 34.6 to 34.4.

That may not sound like much of a dip but it more than offset the  number of jobs added.

To that point, total hours worked in February dropped  by about 1/2% in February.


And, making matters worse, average wages dropped by a couple of pennies … from $25.38 to $25.35.

Again, that may not sound like much, but apply the lower wages to fewer (not more) hours worked … and guess what you get.

Yep, a drop in aggregate income …  (employment X hours X wages)


Bottom line:

Employment increased by 242,00 …  a whopping .17% (<= note the decimal point)

Hours worked dropped by .2 of an hour …  about .6%

Wages dropped by 3 cents / hour … about .1%

The combined effect: a 1/2 point drop in income.


So, why the victory dance?



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