There appear to be two different stories in the Septemeber jobs report. One reported by companies, and another reported by individuals and they tell very different stories about the economy. The first one is the one that is making all the headlines: 336,000 new jobs added.
This number is calculated by looking at company payrolls. On net, companies added 336,000 combined employees. On the surface, this seems great for anyone who was looking for a job. It also seems bad for anyone who doesn’t want the fed to raise rates more. More jobs means strong economy means more inflation means higher rates. But there is a second way that jobs are calculated, and this one surveys individuals instead of employers. It’s called the household survey. This report shows that only 89,000 jobs were added this month.
So where is the disconnect? And why are these numbers so different? Multiple jobs. When one person has two jobs, that looks like 2 employees when you look through the eyes of the payrolls. But it’s the same person working at two different companies. Far from a sign of a growing job market and strong economy, this is a sign of severely struggling individuals. The larger the difference between the payroll survey and the household survey, the more people are working multiple jobs. Is there any further evidence this is happening? Yes. Take a look at total job force participation: it is completely unchanged. All the job changes taking place are just the same employees swapping jobs. There was no net change in the total number of people working.
Further, look at full-time employment numbers. Over the last 3 months, full time employment is down 692,000. This makes the multiple jobs numbers even worse – people are working more jobs, but only part time. This means more people are going without benefits like healthcare and 401k. Struggling to pay for a rising cost of living, and fewer people contributing to retirement accounts. While it’s a small impact to markets overall, it still means less money being invested.
In summary, if you look at all the jobs data together, it suggests more people are working multiple jobs. This is a sign of struggling households, not economic strength.
Arcus offers clients a unique combination of fact-based industry knowledge and superior functional expertise. Our consultants have an average of over 22 years experience, twice the industry average. Find out more about our growth, change management and operations services.
At Arcus we believe that a strategy is only as good as the results it delivers. Strategic outcomes are most predictable and effective when companies develop a portfolio of initiatives that are aligned with core competencies and aligned activities enable the company to offer a superior value proposition.
Please contact Arcus for case studies and to discuss how we can help you.
The variety, breadth, and depth of the projects where Arcus can be a resource are made unique by each client’s specific needs. By providing a very small sample of projects we’ve completed, we can help you understand how and when to use our services. Visit the links below to find out more about a specific problem or opportunity you would like to address.
Below is a sample of the range of services that Arcus has provided to clients.
- A survey of 2,350 consumers and 1,320 business leaders for feedback on sustainability trends
- Architecting a multi-year change strategy for a Fortune 500 company
- Mentoring a CEO on organizational change
- Excellence transformation of a leading B2B services company
- Creating a new sales deployment model for a healthcare company
- Developing a position evaluation and compensation model for a professional medical association
- Improving services to customer segments by deepening their understanding of customer attitudes
“Arcus manages to consistently deliver tangible results on market research and strategy projects. They combine deep business expertise, powerful research capabilities, and innovative thinking to deliver substantial value.”
– Vice President, Nikon