Monday, April 7, 2014

Employment Trend Remains Upbeat (excerpt)

I try not to drown in the deluge of data that comes out with every employment report. To stay focused on the key numbers, I calculate the product of aggregate weekly hours worked times average hourly earnings in private industry. The former rose 0.7%, while the latter was flat last month. The resulting YRI Earned Income Proxy, which is highly correlated with private wages and salaries, jumped 0.7% during March. This augurs well for a big rebound in retail sales during the spring.

There was other good news. Payroll employment during the first two months of the year was revised up by 37,000, boosting the January-March gain to 533,000. The household employment measure rose 1.156 million over the same period, with full-time employment accounting for 63% of the increase. Keep in mind that the payroll measure counts jobs, while the household measure counts workers, who may have more than one job.

Today's Morning Briefing: Yellen’s Dashboard. (1) Yellen’s expanded dashboard includes wages. (2) Fed remains on course following jobs report. (3) YRI Earned Income Proxy at new record high. (4) Solid employment gains. (5) Still plenty of underemployment. (6) “Marginally attached” workers aren’t as distressed as Yellen believes. (7) Yellen’s misfits. (8) Participation rate of baby boom seniors is rising, not falling. (9) Uber-dove. (10) Wages and the cost-push inflation fear. (11) Momentum stocks now being driven by gravity. (12) “Noah” (- - -). (More for subscribers.)

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