Every other aspect of the US economy may be going to hell in a handbasket, with an acute manufacturing recession starting to spill over into the services sector, but at least the US jobs number is "stellar", right?
We showed one way how the BLS fudges the number higher, when we reported on Friday that of the surge in December jobholders, a whopping 324,000 of these new "jobs" were by multiple jobholders, as
in 1 person = 2 (or more) jobs, effectively cutting the job gain in
half (or worse). Worse, the total number of jobholders surged to 7.738
million, just shy of an all time high, and the highest since August
And then there is this.
According to a Bloomberg report, a record number Americans who are retired (or are collecting Social Security) worked part-time last month.
In December, a record 2.6 million workers had either reached full
retirement or restricted themselves to work-weeks of 34 hours or less
due to Social Security income limitations. Individuals can collect
Social Security and work with no limit on earnings once they reach full
retirement age. However, if they receive Social Security before full
retirement age they will lose some of their benefit if they exceed the
annual earnings limit. For 2016, this cap is $15,720. The penalty is a
$1 deduction in Social Security for every $2 earned above the limit.
What is most disturbing, is that this is the "data" the Fed uses to
justify to the world that its decision to hike rates was the right one.
Meanwhile, anyone who is not an economist will take on look at the above
charts and realize why 7 years ino the "recovery" there has been no
wage growth, and why the Fed is shooting itself both in the leg and in
the head by hiking at this point.