Tags: Holtz-Eakin | economy | wages | labor

Holtz-Eakin: 'Economy Is Healing, But Not Yet Healthy'

By    |   Monday, 12 January 2015 10:01 AM

Some economists were impressed with Friday's employment report for December, as non-farm payrolls gained 252,000, putting the increase for all of 2014 at 2.95 million, the biggest yearly gain since 1999.

But others stressed that average hourly wages advanced only 1.7 percent in the 12 months through December, the worst showing in more than two years, and that the labor force participation totaled only 62.7 percent, matching a 36-year low.

You can put Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, in the second group.

"The bottom line: a strong labor market attracts people to participate and pays them rising wages," Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, wrote on AAF's website. "It is hard to say the labor market is strong despite the robust top-line numbers. The U.S. economy is healing, but not yet healthy."

Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, noticed the weak data too, but he doesn't think they will keep the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates.

"Yes, wage growth continues to be lackluster, but the Fed won't likely wait to see the whites of its eyes," he wrote in a commentary obtained by CNBC.

"The continued drop in the unemployment rate is further signs of labor market tightening, and another drop in the participation rate is clear evidence that the slack the doves are relying on is just not there." The unemployment rate slid to a six-year low of 5.6 percent in December.

Many economists expect the Fed to move on rates about mid-year.

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Some economists were impressed with Friday's employment report for December, as non-farm payrolls gained 252,000, putting the increase for all of 2014 at 2.95 million, the biggest yearly gain since 1999.
Holtz-Eakin, economy, wages, labor
255
2015-01-12
Monday, 12 January 2015 10:01 AM
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