Friday, March 6, 2015

Fewer jobs in February?!

The headline payroll employment was (seasonally adjusted) higher in February than in January. However, the headline does not include the self employed or agricultural workers. If we add those in (from the household survey), the number of jobs fell from Jan to Feb. If we also look at it per capita terms, jobs per capita fell two months in a row after being essentially constant Nov-Dec.

Jobs in Thousands through Feb 2015

Jobs per Adult through Feb 2015

To be clear, I am measuring the vast majority of jobs from the same establishment survey that makes headlines. All I'm doing is adding an estimate for the narrow category of workers known to be excluded (in terms of FRED series, my formula is PAYEMS + LNS12027714 + LNS12032184). Interestingly, self employment fell 340,000 in the past month and 238,000 over the past year.


Karl said...

Rather than focus on a single month's data, let's look at 12 month's of data:

Feb 2015:
Self = 9,220,000;
Agr = 1,572,000;
Payroll = 141,126,000

Total = 151,918,000

Feb 2014:
Self = 9,458,000;
Agr = 1,379,000;
Payroll = 137,830,000;

Total = 148,667,000

12 month change = +3,251,000

In other words using Professor Mulligan's calculation we have added over three (3) million jobs in the last 12 months.

Ironman said...

You're likely seeing the immediate impact of the downturn in the oil and energy services industries stemming from the decline in global oil prices and revenues, where about 84% of workers are employed as independent contractors (or rather, as self-employed independent contractors).

Ironman said...

More here, plus a link to where that 84% of workers in the oil industry figure comes from!