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DJ January Jobs Report Weak on Many Levels: Swonk

· 02/05/2021 10:56

By Aaron Kuriloff

Friday's jobs report looks worse when one digs below the headline figures, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. The pandemic's smaller-than-usual retail holiday hiring season should have meant fewer layoffs in January and better numbers, she wrote in a Friday note.

"We did not hire up during this past holiday season, which means we should have seen much smaller seasonal layoffs, which in turn means the seasonally adjusted payrolls data should have surprised to the upside instead of being flat," she wrote.

At the same time, a small increase in average hourly earnings is illusory. "That does not mean that wages rose," she wrote. "It means that more highly paid workers retained their jobs than low-paid workers over the year."

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 10:56 ET (15:56 GMT)

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