On the January Jobs Report

Donald L. Luskin
Friday, February 7, 2020
Lots of noise from revisions, and no coronavirus effects yet. But it was a solid beat.
US Macro
Federal Reserve
A good beat, which may be revised higher. But it’s too soon to see effects from China’s attempt to control the coronavirus, which may show up in February’s numbers and beyond. There were several data revisions that make it difficult to parse today’s release as usual. The annual benchmark revision downgraded payrolls since Trump’s election by 422,000, or about 11,000 per month, but this morning’s beat nevertheless caps off a week of political good luck for the president. Hourly wage growth will do nothing to change the Fed’s outlook, and will allow it to consider the risks of the coronavirus outbreak without distraction.