The Labor Department reported on Friday, April 4, 2014 that the nation added 192,000 new jobs in March, 2014 yet, average hourly earnings slipped 1 cent to $24.30. The Chief Equity Strategist at Federated Investors stated “the number is too low”. According to an article in The Journal News on Saturday, April 5, 2014, people won’t spend more money unless they earn more money. If they don’t spend more, the economy will stagnate.
The article points out the median household income (half higher – half lower) was $53,093 in February, 2014, a 5% lower amount than in 2007. Businesses are under no pressure to raise wages because there are so many people who could be working but aren’t. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7% in March with 698,000 workers who have given up looking for work according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers are pushing existing workers harder than hiring new employees. The average work week edged up to 34.5 hours. The article also points out that from corporate America’s perspective; this is why profits are at record highs. There are some signs that the labor market is improving especially in construction where the average hourly wage is $26.53.
In an article in The Journal News dated Thursday, April 3, 2014, it was reported that payroll processor, ADP reports have mixed success in foreshadowing labors tally. It overestimated labors private sector jobs gains by 21,000 a month, which is because ADP reports are not sensitive to wealth as it counts workers on payroll even if they stayed home because of snow and weren’t paid.
Employers, including businesses and Federal, State & Local governments added an average of 129,000 jobs from December, 2013 through February, 2014, down from the previous three month of 225,000 new jobs. A Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics which helps ADP compile its reports says the bulk of make-up in jobs numbers could come in April or May, 2014. ADP also reported positive signs for a healthier labor market in coming months. It indicated job gains were broad-based among small, midsize and large businesses.