Friday, December 5, 2014

A Quick Note on the November Jobs Report

First off, the news is very good.  This is but one month, yes, but the trends are all good and we have been experiencing relatively robust growth for quite a while.  I say relatively because in past recessions recoveries have been quicker and more robust.  But this recession was different and it has taken a lot of time to unravel all of the damage done to the financial system. So relative to other crises of a similar nature (see: Japan) we are now in pretty robust recovery territory.

Second, the wage growth story that seems to be a popular narrative today is important.  Why?  Because when economists worry about inflation (economists like those in the Fed) what they really look out for is not the CPI or PPI but how price increases are showing up in wages.  The real inflation worry is exactly this feedback loop: higher anticipated prices lead to higher wages which lead to higher prices.  If the Fed starts to worry about this a lot, it is bye bye cheap credit.  So get that mortgage soon.

Third, the unemployment rate is sticky in recoveries and for a good reason.  More folks back looking for jobs is a good thing.

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