Blockbuster (absolute level) growth number for nonfarm payroll employment. But does the percentage growth rate in NFP dispell the prospect of recession in the near future? I don’t think so.
Figure 1: Growth rate in nonfarm payroll employment, month-on-month annualized (blue), and year-on-year (red). NBER recession dates shaded gray. Green dashed line at June 2016 M/M annualized growth rate. Orange shading denotes Trump administration. All growth rates calculated as log differences. Source: BLS, NBER, author’s calculations.
As can clearly seen, the recent growth rate (as opposed to change in level) is not particularly impressive, and similar M/M growth rates have been recorded within months of the beginning of a recession: 9 months before the 2007-09 recession, and 4 months before the 2001 recession.
With that said, one should always be careful with macro data, including the nonfarm payroll (which as I have discussed before is still much preferred to the household series). Jeff Miller has some excellent insights here. Be sure to read.