"Most of the changes were relatively modest, but the most notable aspect of the revisions is that claims for the week of March 5th (3 weeks ago) were revised down to 253,000 which is, as far as we can tell, the lowest weekly claims figure since November 24, 1973," writes Thomas Simons, senior economist at Jefferies. Simons called this "a remarkable statistic and it continues to suggest that not that much slack remains in the labor market."
Are wages growing? It depends on what industry you're in. The PayScale Index, which measures the change in wages for employed U.S. workers, updated this morning, reflecting 1.8 percent annual growth across all industries for the first quarter. Quarterly growth, however, was 0.2 percent, and some sectors fared better than others. For example, while wages grew 4.6 percent for transportation jobs, they declined 2.2 percent for marketing and advertising jobs.
After a relatively soft ADP report, tallying the addition of 185,000 jobs to private payrolls in July, this morning's release of the Employment Situation Summary from the labor department is good news. The report, which includes government jobs as well as those in the private sector, showed that total non-farm employment increased by 215,000 jobs last month, just shy of the 223,000 jobs predicted by economists. Unemployment was flat at 5.3 percent.
Most of us would prefer a bigger paycheck to a couple of sessions with a lifestyle coach or some free yoga classes. After all, given enough of a raise, you could probably spring for that unlimited card, all by yourself. But given that it's cheaper to sponsor a fitness competition than it is to give everyone at the company a 3 percent pay increase – and that healthier employees equals lower healthcare costs for the employer – you can probably expect to see a lot more emphasis on wellness in years to come.
The latest update to The PayScale Index, which measures the change in pay for all employed US workers, showed an overall decline in wages of -0.5 percent for the second quarter. This was greater than PayScale's prediction of a -0.1 percent decline. Annual wage growth was +0.3 percent. But not every metro area and industry took an equal hit. STEM-focused jobs, for example, once again saw an even bigger wage slowdown in Q2, despite constant news about growth in tech companies.
Job growth slowed slightly last month, and the labor force shrank by 432,000 workers, offsetting similarly sized gains in May, according to this morning's Employment Situation Summary. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised April and May's reports downward by 60,000 jobs.
If you're looking for some good news about the economy after last Friday's lackluster jobs report, try this on for size: the latest data indicates that more Americans are quitting their jobs, which means two things: 1) an immediate boost in pay for many workers voluntarily hopping from one job to another, and 2) an increased sense of confidence that workers can find a better job somewhere else. All of this could finally translate to an increase in wages, even for employees who stay put.