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All Hail December’s Job Numbers

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On January 6, 2005 @ 4:53 pm In Economy | Comments Disabled

I keep getting asked what I expect the number to be tomorrow; Quite frankly, I haven’t the slightest idea what it will be — despite the mid-day DJ headline, cheerleading Fed’s Hoenig — Dec Jobs Report Likely To Show More Growth.

Why discount Hoenig? He also said "I think a number in the order of two million net new jobs in 2005 is in the realm of possibility."

Of course, an alien invasion is also in the realm of possibility — its just not the in the realm of likely outcomes. I am out of patience with that sort of linguistical garbage.

Instead, let’s consider the most recent data points. They have all pointed towards a soft number tomorrow:

· The Challenger layoff numbers were higher than expected;

· The ISM employment data was worse than expected;

· The new unemployment data was worse than expected;

· Online job advertising giant Monster.com said its employment index eased, with online demand for workers decreasing in 19 out of 23 occupational categories in the month of December.

So if I was a gambling sort of fellow, I would take the under rather than the over . . .

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