Finally the number that matters the most in the jobs report. The total hours worked is what should indicate the amount of labor demand in the economy. The focus on just new hires seems absurd. Now the demand might be for temp help, or overtime hours, or actually new hires, but the demand is picking up regardless of what the market thought of the jobs report on Friday.
Anybody studying the jobs report should already know that the hours worked jumped from 34.1 to 34.2. The economists expected a flat reading with the creation of 150K or so public jobs. Well, we didn't get the jobs, but we did get more hours equivalent to 315K new jobs. Which one is more important? For the economy it doesn't really matter. More hours worked equals more money to spend. For the person looking for a job it matters big time. On the flip side though, the workers getting that extra work are likely very happy to see a much fatter paycheck at this time.
Lets just hope for the June report that more focus is placed on this graph then the new jobs. The work week is likely to continue rising as regulation in Washington pushes employers to pay overtime versus hiring a new worker.