The disappointing jobs data this morning, perhaps due to weather, detailed by Bloomberg:
The U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell in January to the lowest level in 21 months, while payroll growth was depressed by winter storms.As we've detailed for some time the improvement in the unemployment rate is due to the denominator (in the unemployed / labor force equation) dropping off a cliff. The chart below details this phenomenon over the past twelve months according to the household survey. As can be seen, jobs are finally being added (~900 thousand), but during a time when the population of working age individuals in the U.S. grew by ~1.9 million. Add in a drop in the labor force (~420k) and you get ~2.3 million MORE individuals than last year that could be working, not working.
Unemployment declined to 9 percent from December’s 9.4 percent, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Employers added 36,000 workers, short of the 146,000 median gain projected by economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
We need to do better than this.