The February Employment Release

I’m sure there’s a way to spin the February employment release in a negative way — see for instance JEC Republican vice-chair Brady’s take here — but I think it looks pretty good for a recovery after a combination financial crisis/housing bust/recession. [1]

feb12_1.gif
Figure 1: Log nonfarm payroll employment (dark blue), and log household employment series adjusted to conform to nonfarm payroll employment (red), seasonally adjusted, rescaled to 2007M12=0. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS via FRED, BLS, NBER and author’s calculations.
Note that were civilian employment to be included, it would exhibit a similar trend to the red line. In other words, the household survey is signalling more rapid recovery than the establishment survey.

Figure 2 shows that aggregate hours in the private sector have recovered, now more so than employment.

feb12_2.gif
Figure 2: Log private employment (dark blue), and log aggregate weekly hours index in private sector, series AWHI (red), seasonally adjusted, rescaled to 2007M12=0. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS via FRED, NBER and author’s calculations.
This post originally appeared at Econbrowser and is posted with permission.