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Under the hood

The latest U.S. employment report was published, and showed non farm payrolls increased by 336k for the month of September. Unemployment was somehow steady at 3.8% and the equity market took a breather after a couple of tough weeks. Beneath the surface, however, the picture was not that rosie: seasonally adjusted, all the jobs added where temporary, in fact, permanent jobs declined by 22k; 22% of jobs added, where employed by the government, which is not good, but above all, it’s not sustainable. And as temporary jobs are more abundant, wage growth slows down. But perhaps, the most relevant data point was labour participation, or how to account for people of working age (18-64) that are not looking for a job. Approximately 5 million people within working age are not looking for a job and depending on the way

you account for them, you can get an unemployment rate of 3.8%, like we see in the report, or 6.8% as seen in the chart below.


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