January Jobs Report Could Shed Light On Slowing U.S. Economy
The report can help economists and individuals to understand whether the U.S. economy has continued its growth and momentum. Below are key metrics that should be particularly looked at.
It’s critical to evaluate the number of hours worked. Prior reports have shown a decrease in weekly hours worked in the private sector for the past 9 months.
“A reduction in average hours isn’t necessarily a sign of impending doom for the labor market,” said Nick Bunker. “Yet lower average working hours contribute to lower weekly earnings growth—which may hinder economic growth moving forward.”
Additionally, paying attention to wages provides further insight to the numbers of hours worked. There is worry that wage growth is stalling. Earlier this month, one measure concluded that over the past four quarters there has been 3% wage growth. Some economists are trying to dispel worry over stagnated wage growth by emphasizing that cost of living has not grown at the same rate.
It’s important to understand that decreases in unemployment also takes into account individuals who have become too discouraged to look for work.