Sean Hackbarth Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


February 03, 2017


The final jobs numbers for President Barack Obama are now coming in:

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 227,000 jobs last month, the largest gain in four months, the Labor Department said on Friday. But the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent and wages rose only by three cents, suggesting that there was still some slack in the labor market.

About the numbers, J.D. Foster, Vice President and Chief Economist at the U.S. Chamber, told me that one thing to watch is the divergence in household and payroll surveys: -30,000 jobs vs 227,000 jobs.

“The labor market in recent months has outperformed the overall economy, and this pattern cannot continue indefinitely," he added. "The decline in jobs according to the household survey reflects a trend going back at least to last October and may be an early indication the jobs market and the overall economy are re-aligning, unfortunately at a lower growth rate. Until we see a marked improvement in business investment in particular, leading to a stronger overall economy, we likely won’t see the current pace of job growth continue for long."

About the authors

Sean Hackbarth

Sean Hackbarth

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.

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