Over 80% Of Jobs Added In January Were Minimum Wage Earners

Tyler Durden's picture

Jobs were good; earnings were a disaster - that's the best summary of today's jobs report.

As we noted earlier, February suffered the biggest ever monthly drop in average weekly earnings, because not only did hourly earnings drop but so did hours worked, resulting in far lower overall weekly wages.


What caused this? Nothing our readers don't already know: recall that in January, "70% Of Jobs Added In January Were Minimum Wage Waiters And Retail Workers."

February was even worse: most of the jobs that were created, if only on a goalseeked, seasonally adjusted basis, were of the lowest paying, worst possible quality as has been the case for the past 7 years as the BLS desperately seeks to "pad" its political mandate of providing proof in a recovery which however is impossible if it were to tell the truth.

As a result, as the BLS itself admitted, "job growth occurred in health care and social assistance, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and private educational services" - all of which are the lowest-paying wage groups.

The full detail is shown below:


The breakdown: of the 242K jobs created in February, 189K were of the minimum-wage variety, in:

  • Education and Health (+86K)
  • Retail Trade (+55K)
  • Leisure and Hospitality (+48K) .

In other words, a whopping 82% of jobs "created" in February were minimum wage teachers, retail trade, and waiters, bartenders and chambermaids.

What about well-paying jobs like finance, trucking, manufacturing or mining? +6K, -5K, -16K, and -18K, for a net loss of 33k jobs.

Perhaps the bigger surprise is how wage growth wasn't far worse.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
brada1013567's picture

So I can go ahead with QE4?


-Janet "Shorty" Yellen

Shizzmoney's picture


Perhaps the bigger surprise is how wage growth wasn't far worse.

That's what high, overpaid CEO and management salaries are for.  To prop up the aggregate.  

My golf score would look pretty good playing "best ball" with Jordan Speith.  

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

This is natural in an economy that is transitioning from a manufacturing economy to a modern service economy. Entry level jobs in the service sector have low wages, but offer numerous paths for growth into middle management and beyond. This is a natural and desirable transition for a developed economy. Service sector jobs are safer and less physically demanding than manufacturing jobs, just as manufacturing jobs were less demanding than farming jobs. This is progress. Just as technology reduced the size of our agriculture sector, outsourcing is reducing the size of our manufacturing sector and allowing us to pursue far more rewarding opportunities in the service sector. It's also interesting to note that the US is now the leader by far in healthcare and education, two of the bedrocks of modern civilization.

Dg4884's picture

So my take away from this MDB is that Obamacare, Common Core, and being lazy is progress for the US of A?


Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) Dg4884 Mar 4, 2016 10:32 AM

"Progress" is merely forward or onward movement toward a destination

The destination could just as well be Hell.

1st Amendment's picture

We "minimum waged" some folks

The9thDoctor's picture

Despite the low wages and low hours and the only jobs available are McJobs, magically apartment rental rates are at ALL TIME HIGHS!

The 2006 bubble has been not only surpassed but left in the dust.

People making $9 an hour and working part time hours are priced out. They have to shack up like sardines in one unit.

Son of Loki's picture

Rents at popular Hong Kong housing estates falling faster than home sale prices


Concern about the deteriorating economic outlook has more middle-class Hong Kong families looking for cheaper rental deals.





Chineee Housing Bubble meet pin.

MisterMousePotato's picture

"minimum wage teachers"

If a surgeon removed my brain, I still couldn't write that.

1st Amendment's picture

We "minimum waged" some folks

Jeffersonian Liberal's picture

Dg -

Don't fret over MDB. He makes a career of commenting on articles strictly to antagonize and garner lots of comments.

No one is really sure whether he is being sarcastic or serious, which renders his comments irrelevant.

MDB: Here's a hint regarding satire...for satire to work, the audience must know that the writer is being satirical. If the audience does not know this, then the writing comes off as awkward didacticism. If the writing is not satirical, have the spine to state your position openly and honestly and to declare that you are serious.

What we do know is that MDB suffers some sort of neurotic need for attention as his every contribution serves only to hijack any thread and to become the center of attention.

I wish this forum had a collapse-sub-thread feature so that you could click on a poster's name and hide that poster's comment and everything in response to that comment. This would make it far easier to skip the juvenile comments and the irrelevant digressions and personal attacks and flame wars to see what the serious thinkers have to say.

ajkreider's picture

Certainly, the US is the industrialized world leader in job creation.  Crappy service jobs are better than what's happening in Japan or Europe.

If anyone thinks we should be adding good paying manufacturing jobs in a world like this, they should look at the export numbers.  And it's only gonna get worse. 

This has been your protectionism alert.

RumCurrency's picture

Technically you can always have a service sector and it isn't indicative of progress.  For example: Chimps have a services economy where low ranking chimps groom those with high ranking.  That is a service for which there can always be full employment.  Does that represent progress whatsoever?  No.  

Manufacturing creates progress in the production of goods that can have a real impact on the standard of living for average people.  For example, you need manufacturing capability to create machinery that would eliminate the need for humans to do manual chores in their lives.  In a service economy you could employ people to do these chores, but then who would do their chores?  There will always be people at the bottom who receive very little, if any, benefits from this type of economy.  Do you understand that creating machinery and manufacturing is necessary for technological advancement and higher living standards?

NoDebt's picture

I can't believe I just saw the word 'chambermaid' used in an article.  What a deliciously old fashioned word.

Allo, govna'.  Empty your bedpan for you this mornin'?

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) NoDebt Mar 4, 2016 10:31 AM

He got the word "chambermaid" from reading Fanny Hill, which happens to also be about the service economy.

MFL8240's picture

Welcome to Mexico north of their border!

Nobody For President's picture

So, looks like we have a bunch of smart, heallthy shoppers that eat out a lot and need servicing. Good news!

Big Corked Boots's picture

Clearly, the minimum wage must be raised to $15.00.


SomebodySpecial's picture

That's all it will take to get everybody else back to work.

That's what I been waitin for...and don't call me Clearly!

starman's picture

No manufacturing jobs? But we build Tesla's!  

Infield_Fly's picture
Infield_Fly (not verified) starman Mar 4, 2016 10:12 AM

All 100 of them.  

Nobody For President's picture

BLS needs to start counting new robots added to what's left of manufacturing and warehouse services.

(Maybe I better not give them any new ideas....)

JoeTurner's picture

The BLS better stop peddling fiction or Obamadindu may get pissy...

NEOSERF's picture

I like how Other Services and Government surged from declines in January...once those new minimum wage laws really kick in, we will see hospitality slow down

brada1013567's picture

CNBS resident "Brit Twit" Simon Hobbs said, "Trump creates his own reality"

Kettle, Pot

Callz d Ballz's picture

Easy.  The high paying jobs now transitioned to low paying and counted 3 times as that is the amount of part-time low paying jobs it takes to live. 

brada1013567's picture

The Fed's oil buying Algo just kicked in!

Nero_Hedge's picture

Anecdotally this just feels correct. I'm 4 years out of college and most people I know are working retail, making coffee, going back to school, or working at some kind of nonprofit/gov agency, Some are accountant/engineers, they're all doing okay financially but really hate their job and don't get to enjoy what's left after working 60 hr+ weeks

Firepower's picture

Murka's destinned to have the most educated cohort of growhouse operators and METH dealers in history.

GRDguy's picture

Always disliked the "jobs" report. Plantations created jobs, but that didn't do the workers any good.  That's what mega corporations look like to me. 

SMC's picture

One wonders what percentage are overpaid Obummer supporters?


youngman's picture

It is the new world order for the USA...service jobs.....and to me..that does not make an economy.....you have to make things...not push paper....but with all the new government regulations..many people just push paper

brada1013567's picture

4 days in a row, stocks drop early, then magically crude jumps and everything is great!

Chuckster's picture

...and these were all security jobs?  Figures.

TroyAndAbed's picture

I'm not saying that the jobs created were good, but to immediately say all the jobs in these sectors are "minimum wage" isn't genuine. Entry-level teachers can make at least 30-50k, depending on school district and credentials.

SomebodySpecial's picture

How come there are so many comments without votes?

When you're done posting you get the opportunity to take a big step back and read you're comment. You can then decide to up/down vote it based on wether you think it's great or crappy. Is it no votes means no opinion?

hooligan2009's picture

no votes is a bit like, refusing to acknowledge a fart in a lift :)

Theonewhoknows's picture
Theonewhoknows (not verified) Mar 4, 2016 10:36 AM

Im interested how the big big groups of interest will react - I mean those people that own 90% of stuff. THIS http://independenttrader.org/global-structure-of-ownership-result-of-4-year-long-research.html

rickowens's picture

Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius just tried to blame wage contraction on the extra day in February due to the leap year.... lolz

hooligan2009's picture

ever wonder why we shouldn't just add one minute a day to compensate for leap year?

you can see why you work for six days and recover for the next six days by taking a day off. probably something to do with slave labor in roman times and debt servitude optimality in modern times.

i am trying to work off a coffee buzz by thinking about switching to a decimal calendar and getting rid of the roman conventions that have little relevance to todays times -if the below cut and paste is true, it could be that we can come up with better ones and names - maybe dead presidents or different "largest companies of the world" or failed empires.

March: The ancient Romans insisted that all wars cease during the time of celebration between the old and new years. Since March was the first month of the new year in ancient Rome, some historians believe the Romans named March after Mars, the Roman god of war.

April: Three theories exist regarding the origin of April's name. Some say April got its name from the Latin word meaning “second" since April was the second month on the ancient calendar. Others claim it comes from “aperire," a Latin word meaning “to open," because it represents the opening of buds and flowers in spring. Still others think April was named after the goddess Aphrodite.

May: May was named after Maia, an earth goddess of growing plants.

June: Apparently, June has always been a popular month for weddings! The Romans named June after Juno, the queen of the gods and patroness of marriage and weddings.

July: July was named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. Previously, July was called “Quintilis," which is Latin for “fifth."

August: August was named after Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C. Previously, August was called “Sextillia," which was Latin for “sixth."

Though we think of September, October, November, and December as months 9, 10, 11 and 12, these months were 7, 8, 9, and 10 on the ancient Roman calendar. This is how they got their names.

September: September's name comes from septem, Latin for “seven."

October: October's name comes from octo, Latin for “eight."

November: November's name comes from novem, Latin for “nine."

December: December's name come from decem, Latin for “ten."

February: Around 690 B.C., Numa Pompilius turned a period of celebration at the end of the year into a month of its own, named after the festival Februa. This is how February got its name.

January: Later, Pompilius added another month to the beginning of the year and named it January after Janus, the God of beginnings and endings.

Nobody For President's picture

Hooligan, next time you need to work off a coffee buzz, have a good alcoholic drink, instead. A nip of scotch or whiskey on a cold morning works...

hooligan2009's picture

haha...that or a cold shower and a trip to the gym

Five Star's picture

The truth behind the emplyment figures:




Nobody For President's picture

Truth? TRUTH! You can't handle the truth!

rejected's picture

"Over 80% Of Jobs Added In January Were Minimum Wage Earners"

Soooo, how do they come up with and average wage of $25.00 per hour?

If 80 out 100 people earn a average minimun wage of lets say $9 per hour then the other 20 would have to earn $89 per hour to average out at $25 per hour.

They must thank God so many graduates of their education system are innumerate!

hooligan2009's picture

good point - would be good to see those deciles of earners - i suspect there is a larger and larger skew towards higher paid workers lifting or holding up the average wage - even so, once you factor in food stamps, student loan and car debt, the middle three or four deciles illustrate why "il duce" is resonating so well. manufacturing jobs have gone overseas for manipulated cheap slave labor rates, service and technology jobs have migrated for the same plus tax reasons, leaving a hollowed out economy because other countries "cheat" and do not offer their slaves the same health care, working hours and pension benefits

dhengineer's picture

Is that number just cash wages, or wages plus benefits plus all of the unseen taxes paid on behalf of an employee?  An employer has to pay the other half of FICA, unemployment, short-term disability, workmen's comp, as well as fund sick time/vacations, holidays, and overtime pay.