Screameth the Bureau of Lies and Scams:
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 517,000 in January, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. Employment also increased in government, partially reflecting the return of workers from a strike.
That's great, right?
Well, the internals are a bit different, but they definitely put some negative spin on the idea that the Fed is "tightening" policy in a meaningful fashion. In that light the 25bps looks wildly insufficient.
Its not one data point either -- both hours worked and overtime expanded, as did hourly wages. "Restrictive" policy? Where?
There is, however, a fly in the ointment -- the population adjustment is this month, and it was a whopper, throwing cold water on the last year's progress in that the employment:population ratio erased all gains back to last February.
Another piece of internal data -- which is confirmatory of certain other suspicions -- is that nearly a million people over the last 12 months were added to the disabled rolls. However, the percentage of said disabled people working increased, likely due to the end of pandemic "stay home and get a check" programs over the last year.
After the ADP report it appeared the market expected that there would be confirmation of softening in the labor market and thus "justification" that the Fed's "slowdown" would be confirmed as "policy is working as intended."
If you bought that ticket you're in for a heck of a ride.