Tags: Kudlow | Piegza | jobs | growth

CNBC's Kudlow, Sterne Agee's Piegza Question Strength of Jobs Data

By    |   Thursday, 03 July 2014 12:12 PM

While many economists expressed enthusiasm about Thursday's jobs report, CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow, a Moneynews insider, and Lindsey Piegza, chief economist of Sterne Agee, voiced skepticism.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 288,000 in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, an almost-six-year low.

"The 288,000 is good," Kudlow said on CNBC. "On the other hand the labor participation rate is flat." That rate stood at 62.8 percent last month, tied for the lowest level in 36 years.

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In addition, the U-6 unemployment rate, which includes temporary and part-time workers who want full-time work, registered 12.1 percent in June, though that represented a slight decline from 12.2 percent in May, Kudlow noted.

Meanwhile, average hourly wages climbed only 2 percent in the year through June. "That's pretty soft," he proclaimed.

The types of jobs being created are also an important factor.

"In the last year, year and a half, the quality of the job creation has improved," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics told CNBC. "So if you go back in the beginning of the economic recovery, it was all low-paying jobs. Now we've seen more high-paying jobs and middle-income jobs, which are construction-related jobs."

As for Piegza, "we're looking at this top line number and it certainly is impressive," she told CNBC. "But I think we can all agree that the composition of the jobs being created is still very much in question."

For example, part-time jobs still account for almost 19 percent of the gain, Piegza said. And temporary jobs, which typically account for 2 percent of the labor force, made up 16 percent of the gain.

Robert Stein, deputy chief economist at First Trust Portfolios, took a more optimistic view. "The improvement in the labor market is accelerating," he told Bloomberg.

"We're seeing a self-sustaining recovery, where production growth leads to job growth, which leads to consumption growth."

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Economy
While many economists expressed enthusiasm about Thursday's jobs report, CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow, a Moneynews insider, and Lindsey Piegza, chief economist of Sterne Agee, voiced skepticism.
Kudlow, Piegza, jobs, growth
337
2014-12-03
Thursday, 03 July 2014 12:12 PM
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