Data Divergence

Despite job growth of 353,000, the January employment report contained troubling data. Ignoring weather-related phenomena including the length of the workweek, which shrank, hourly earnings, that jumped, and personal income, which was flat, the data is showing a troubling rise in part-time employment growth and reduced full-time work. Moreover, the broadest measure of unemployment rose to 7.2%, the highest level since 12/21, and manufacturing overtime hours sank. Mildly unnerving.