Mike Shedlock

nitial Reaction

On the surface, this appeared to be a very strong jobs report from both the household survey and establishment survey perspective.

The establishment survey reported a gain of 288,000 jobs while the household survey sported a gain in employment of 407,000. In addition, May was revised up from +217,000 to + 224,000, and April revised up from +282,000 to +304,000.

Digging deeper into the details, strength was entirely part-time (and then some).

Voluntary part-time employment rose by a whopping 840,000 and involuntary part-time employment rose by 275,000.

Compared to a total gain of employment of 407,000, the gain in total part-time employment was 1,115,000. I confirmed with the BLS that one cannot directly subtract those numbers because of seasonal reporting.

However, one can compare seasonally-adjusted full-time employment this month to seasonally-adjusted full-time employment last month. Doing so shows a decline in full-time employment of 523,000!

May BLS Jobs Statistics at a Glance

  • Nonfarm Payroll: +288,000 - Establishment Survey
  • Employment: +407,000 - Household Survey
  • Unemployment: -325,000 - Household Survey
  • Involuntary Part-Time Work: +275,000 - Household Survey
  • Voluntary Part-Time Work: +840,000 - Household Survey
  • Baseline Unemployment Rate: -0.2 at 6.1% - Household Survey
  • U-6 unemployment: -0.1 to 12.1% - Household Survey
  • Civilian Non-institutional Population: +192,000
  • Civilian Labor Force: +81,000 - Household Survey
  • Not in Labor Force: +111,000 - Household Survey
  • Participation Rate: +0.0 at 62.8 - Household Survey


Additional Notes About the Unemployment Rate

  • The unemployment rate varies in accordance with the Household Survey, not the reported headline jobs number, and not in accordance with the weekly claims data.
  • In the past year the working-age population rose by 2,262,000.
  • In the last year the labor force declined by 128,000.
  • In the last year, those "not" in the labor force rose by 2,390,000
  • Over the course of the last year, the number of people employed rose by 2,146,000 (an average of 178,833 a month)

Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management.