Job Growth OK

Job growth in January was OK; not great, but not bad.  The good news was upward revisions of earlier months.

The percentage growth rate over the last three months and the last 12 months is about 1.5%.  Our population is only growing one percent, so we’re putting more and more of the people to work.  Unemployment ticked up a bit to 4.6 percent, but the labor market is still on the tight side of normal.

Average hourly earnings continues to rise at about the four percent rate.

Business Strategy Implications: No sign of that recession we’ve been worrying about.  Economy looks solid.  Job gains and wage gains should help consumer spending to register solid growth in the coming months.  It’s starting the feel like we dodged the bullet that we economists were worried about last fall.