Most Important Stat From Today’s Employment ReportJanuary 10, 2014
The most important statistic from the employment report is the index of aggregate hours worked. This stat includes both the number of people working and the hours they are working. The index of aggregate hours worked is the most comprehensive guide to the quantity of labor input in the economy.
The quarterly, annualized index of aggregate hours worked rose 1.63% for the fourth quarter as a whole. Today’s report offered some concerning data for at least a couple reasons: 1) Hours worked are diverging from basic economic indicators like the Citi Surprise Index (below), and 2) looked at on a year over year basis, this stat has had a reasonable correlation with stock prices (second below).