While it is enticing to fall for the same old trick of reading the "quantitative", or headline, jobs data, driven entirely by the Establishment Survey, which as the BLS itself showed today, is nothing but mere noise based on seasonal adjustments and population estimates which is revised at least once a year based on new and improved exit assumptions, below we show the actual unvarnished truth contained in today's jobs reports.
Recall that in our pre-NFP post we pointed out something critical: "an even more disturbing trend is the conversion of America into a gerontocratic worker society, where the bulk of jobs are handed out to those 55 and over, which puts all young workers, not to mention college graduates, at a major disadvantage relative to far more experienced older workers." And sure enough, a quick update of the jobs by age-group change in January based on Household Survey data, the same data that showed that the unemployment rate actually rose from 7.8% to 7.9% (to give Bernanke more runway for QEternity as we predicted in December) shows that in the past month, 115,000 jobs were.... lost?
Indeed, as the chart below demonstrates, based on BLS data which breaks down jobs gains and losses granularly by age group, in January there was a total of 115,000 jobs losses, with the biggest losses once again concentrated in the 20-24, and 25-54 age groups, a total of 205,000 job losses, offset purely by job gains in the 16-19 age category: hardly the "quality" of jobs worth writing home about.
And another perspective: in January jobs in the 16-54 age group declined by a total of -99K, while even America's aged workers, those 55 and over, saw their first sequential jobs loss of 16,000 jobs, since July 2012. In Total, some 2.8 million jobs in the 26-54 age group have been lost since january 2009, offset by 3.95 million gains in the 55-69 age group.
Good jobs report indeed.