Nonfarm Payrolls: Who’s Bringing Home The Bacon?


As promised, Part Deux of our deeper dive into Friday’s payrolls report with the Top 50 industries with the fastest and slowest wage growth as measured by the BLS’ Average Hourly Earnings (AHE) data miners

Have a look and make your inferences.

Wages Down In February 

It’s generally not wise to infer anything from monthly data as there is so much noise and so many revisions to come.   

Nevertheless, in February, wage growth was negative for almost all industries across the board, which will raise many suspicions that the BLS Chef was working overtime with the data. Not sayin’, just thinkin’. 

There was positive wage growth in some industries, led by textile and product mills, up 0.9 percent, and transportation and warehousing, coming in a close second with 0.7 percent wage growth in February. Apparel and financial activities led to the downside at -3.3 and -1.8 percent, respectively.

Barber & Hairdressers Rocking The Casbah

Another thing that stands out to me, personally, with the rank data — Feb ’21 to Jan ’22 growth rate — is the wage growth in barbershops and beauty salons, the second-highest over the 11 months. 

Many will conclude it is most likely a measurement illusion as barber shops and salons were bouncing back from being shuttered for a few months at the beginning of the pandemic. Not in my experience, however.

The price I pay for a haircut is now is up 40 percent from what I paid before the pandemic, $25 to $35. It never included a shampoo and the place is not exactly a Foofoo salon.

Supply Chain Issues? Not!

O Lordy, she must have one helluva supply chain problem. Wondering if her scissors are stuck in one of those containers ships off the SoCal coast?

She deserves the raise, however,  a dreamer who has raised three wonderful boys and just opened her own shop. God bless our immigrants, always the entrepreneur.     

Missing Data

Note that all the industries in the tables are missing the February data as it takes more time to gather the more granular the sector, and is especially true for the wage data.  AHE for most sub-industries are delayed at least a month from the headline NFP release. 

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