While Trump has personally expressed skepticism about the validity of the payrolls report, and especially the seasonally adjusted Establishment Survey, one aspect of the jos report he has been especially focused on is the number of people who are out of the labor force for economic reasons or otherwise: this is the infamous 95 million number that he brings up every time the strength of the “Obama recovery” has been mentioned. Which is why we are confident Trump will be happy to learn that in January, while the US economy added some 227K jobs according to the Establishment Survey, the Household Survey showed that the number of people not in the labor force tumbled by a whopping 736,000, the biggest drop in our series history, bringing the number of Americans not in the labor force to 94,366.
Curiously, a driver of this move is that the civilian non-institutional population reportedly declined by 660K, declining to 254,082K, which we attribute to the annual benchmark revisions in the jobs report.
One of the direct consequences of this move is that the unemployment rate went up as the civilian labor force grew from 159,640K to 159,716K even as the number of Employed workers – per the household survey – actually declined by 30,000 to 152,081.
It also means that the Labor Participation Rate rose from 62.7% to 62.9%, the highet print since September.