By the time NFP gets released, I will be presenting at the Detroit Book Fair.

Feel free to report on, and dissect, the BLS report (here).

Category: Employment

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

52 Responses to “Non Farm Payroll Is . . .”

  1. rktbrkr says:

    The unemployment rate rose from 9.8 to 10.2 percent in October, and nonfarm
    payroll employment continued to decline (-190,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor
    Statistics reported today. The largest job losses over the month were in con-
    struction, manufacturing, and retail trade.

    Household Survey Data

    In October, the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000 to 15.7
    million. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 10.2 percent,
    the highest rate since April 1983. Since the start of the recession in
    December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 8.2 million,
    and the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points. (See table A-1.)

    Brown shoots

  2. rktbrkr says:

    .4% increase in rate is a pretty hefty jump

  3. rktbrkr says:

    WPAII coming…

  4. call me ahab says:

    awesome news for traders-

    just doesn’t get better than this does it?

    DGDF- buy some commodities and relax-

    so simple a child can do it

  5. rktbrkr says:

    How will CNBC sugarcoat this headline? “Almost 90% of US workers still employed”

  6. call me ahab says:


    using 1980′s metrics for calculating unemployment- actually closer to 20%-

    now that’s ugly

  7. Mike in Nola says:

    Bet CNBC touts the fact that it came in under 200k, showing tremendous improvement.

  8. rktbrkr says:

    Trimtabs has maintained that BLS will have to adjust under estimates earlier in the year. These adjustments seem to be bleeding into the overall rate rather than the headline number. Things really don’t seem to be getting worse less slowly do they? If they are it’s a miniscule decline in worseness.

    The U.S. economy lost 284,000 jobs in October, with about 5.9 million jobs lost in all over the past 12 months, according to research released Wednesday from TrimTabs Investment Research.

    TrimTabs’ employment estimates are based on analyses of daily income tax deposits to the U.S. Treasury from all salaried U.S. employees.

    In a research note, TrimTabs added that wages and salaries are still declining sequentially. The firm estimates, based on income tax deposits, that wages and salaries fell 5.3 percent year over year in September and 4.6 percent year over year in October, steeper than declines earlier in the year.

  9. Mike in Nola says:

    Yup, Erin has some twerp on telling us how it’s improved so wonderfully.

  10. bonghiteric says:

    Doesn’t seem all that long ago that we were getting our knickers in a twist when u-6 hit 16%.

  11. teraflop says:

    We need more Hope. Or a different kind of Hope. Or maybe some prevailing Hope needs to be unwound.

  12. VennData says:

    Look like more an more people statistically “back in the available workforce; looking for work.” That’s good… hope is good.

  13. ironman says:

    Following rktbrkr summary of the report:

    Household employment level is 138,275,000 (down 558,000 from September 2009). You have to go back to October 2003 to find when that figure was lower (137,984,000).

    Teen unemployment rises by 1.7% from 25.9% in September to 27.6% in October – absolutely remarkable. In theory, with no more federal minimum wage increases scheduled to take place (following the last one to $7.25 per hour on 24 July 2009), this figure should be stable or falling – especially if the economy was improving. The adult (Age 20+) unemployment rate increased from 9.1% to 9.5%. Together, the combined unemployment rate for all individuals Age 16+ rose from 9.8% to 10.2%. (Note: teens Age 16-19 represent a little over 3% of all workers in the U.S.).

    So much for “stimulus.”

  14. Mike in Nola says:

    to save people the trouble of looking, U-6 is 17.5%

    Barry’s point in his Preview post about perversely good news is correct. On this bad economic news, the dollar is rising, which is counterintuitive. To me the easiest explanation is that some carry trades are unwinding.

  15. Mike in Nola says:

    VennDate: They are probably back in the workforce to keep their extended unemployment benefits going.

  16. rktbrkr says:

    I wonder what the rate is in CA now? the Great California Depression, double whammy of plunging RE and jobs. They’ll be moving back to OK soon, maybe even Mexico!

  17. says:

    U3 and U6 is over 20%, has it right. “• September Unemployment Rates: U.3 = 9.8%, U.6 = 17.0%, SGS = 21.4%”

    Our elected morons can’t even get the statistics correct, you have to pay $300 bucks a year to get the truth.

    Utterly pathetic.

  18. hue says:

    at some point, the dollar will decouple from the markets, sinking dollar no long boosts commodities. rising oil used to bad for the economy at 140, then sinking oil was bad for the economy at 35. now we’re back at rising oil is good for the economy 80.

  19. b/d added 86k jobs…

    +49k in business/professional svcs? Wow.

  20. call me ahab says:


    “No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me with just a pocketful of hope”- Lennon

  21. ashpelham2 says:

    That 10.2% becomes psychological in a big way now. I think we were just waiting to see that number to make a call about retail sales this holiday season. Overall, retail sales probably just took anothe 1% haircut this holiday season.

    I tried listening to Bloomberg or CNBC on the satellite radio during my drive in to work today, but they were so busy paying the bills between 7:45-8:05 am CST that I almost signed up for

  22. hue says:

    unemployment is a lagging indicator. when the rate hits 15%, that only means we’re back to the days of wine and roses. lets party like it’s 1929.

  23. techy says:

    a reason for more government spending to improve employment.

    I still think reflation has a chance….. look at the home buyers credit getting extended and expanded….and then unemployment benefit getting extended.

    If I was running the show…..i will do the same……. reflate our way out of this debt driven deflation.

    punish the savers, the capital holders(15% of population)….and support the workers(85%)….its a no brainer since its a game of numbers.

    will it work….maybe, but there is no other option right now. I will take the reflation any day compared to deflation..leading to unemployment as high as 30% (actually you dont need that many people employed in USA anymore, but thats a different subject)

    long term….USD has to keep going down….else all the exporters will be punished due to devaluation of their current reserves (either they can keep employment or the money saved….they cannot have both).

    will there be inflation in commodities…….yes it is possible because of speculation…but if I was in the admin, i will use all available tools to keep the speculators out of commodities.

    we will see….so far reflation is going on since this crisis started, why has it not solved the problems? the answer is, it cannot be solved overnight….its too big of a problem….

    due to existing deficit the USG did not have a free hand to spend as much as they want…

    give me $3 trillion, and i will solve the current unemployment problem….

    in the long run….if USA plays its card well, it should devalue USD and bring back employment in terms of local manufacturing and more exports…. else it can keep printing money to punish the exporters keeping their currency artificially low.

  24. bsneath says:

    This one is simple. Many small business people rely on credit card financing. They have been hanging on by their fingers and are now letting go. They do not show up in the establishment data (job losses) but do in the household data (unemployment rate)

    No constituency to represent them in Washington. Buh Bye!

  25. rktbrkr says:

    O’B will restart the WPA with a new name, there will be a headon conflict with Uncle Ben who will argue it’s inflationary. Uncle ben wants to save the world by padding the pockets of his cronies and let it trickle down some way.O’B has to get people back to work or the midterm elections will be a bloodbath for the Dems

  26. call me ahab says:


    tell that to Japan who tried to reflate w/ ZIRP and on again off again QE for 20 years-

    who won that battle?

  27. techy says:

    call me ahab…

    whats wrong with japan??

    unemployment around 5.3%

    around 95% of their government debt is owned by japanese…their exports still bring a lot of money in.

    they have around $1 trillion in foreign reserves.

    and their problem is more of demography than anything else.

  28. rktbrkr says:

    Dow is up, I guess BB dispatched some choppers to blanket WS with some new mad money to couter the job losses

  29. HarryWanger says:

    I just arrived in Detroit late last night. Barry let’s do lunch. I’m here until Sunday.

  30. call me ahab says:


    with 200% debt to GDP-

    ultimately Japan will default on its debt

  31. Rikky says:

    techy, it’s a game of hide the sausage. japan has had it tucked away for decades. contrasting with america we have an unemployment rate near 2x their current one, we are a primary importer and most of our debt isn’t owned by us. on the flip side america has a bigger checkbook and owns the worlds currency. moves like suspending market value realization on securities are the tricks TPTB play to keep that sausage hidden. so far people are buying it. the reflation game is having some positive impact because they’re changing the rules of the game. as long as the sheeple play along this will continue. what i expect to happen is at some point an exogenous event will change the game yet again and the sausage will be out of the closet.

  32. HCF says:

    Bob Barbera on CNBC this morning said “This employment report is unambiguously positive.” WTF? I think the 10.2% headline unemployment rate qualifies as bad. This is spin at its worst…


  33. techy says:

    call me ahab:

    government will default, why?? debt is owned by its own people….of course interest rate may go up if people dont want to buy the debt anymore….or if they want to take their saving and go somewhere else.

    but right now where do they go?? its ZIRP everywhere(if you include the local inflation) except in some commodity rich countries.

    a government with the printing press do not have to default ever……they can always print more and give it to you.

    but the value of their currency may go down….but thats a different story….japan has that covered with their huge exports…

  34. hue says:

    HarryWanger is also going to the Jewish Detroit Book Fair.

  35. techy says:


    the probabilty of things blowing sky high(worse crisis than last 18 months)… less than 5%.

    the probability that all the government of the world will do anything in their power to keep the masses employed >100%.

    what do people with capital do?? i dont know the answer….i am still sitting on 99% cash….and earning nothing on my savings…….but i also work for living, and my wages trump my return on savings….hence i will take reflation compared to unemployment.

  36. Mannwich says:

    Doesn’t matter what the payroll number is. That’s the REAL economy and doesn’t matter in the la-la land markets that go up on any news for any reason. ZIRP 4-eva, dontcha know?

  37. Mannwich says:

    @techy: So it’s fine as long as YOU’RE employed? What happens when the unemployment grim reaper catches up to you?

  38. HarryWanger says:

    Trading range on SPX right now. Can’t get back above 1070. Better jobs report would have done the trick but that’s not happening. I’m anticipating a sell off into the close. Spin 10.2% anyway you’d like – it’s still horrendous and it’s going to impact holiday sales.

  39. Rikky says:

    the USA and Japan are in ‘better’ positions because of the size and revenue their economies generates. if one were Iceland or some other bumf*ck country trying to play the same game they’d be in default and wouldn’t get away with such shenanigans. because the checkbook is so big you can play games far longer than others but make no mistake the end game is the same.

    the question for me is who calls out the USA or Japan on their unsustainable paths? the USA’s growing deficits that need to be funded by external entities has to be worrisome. its worked thus far because there’s a co-dependency by exporters on the usa economy. no one can predict this ‘arrangement’ will last in perpetuity. having your house in order allows you flexibility on choices. while the USA continues to plod along its dependence on foreign capital gives it less control over its own destiny later on. currency devaluation is always in the cards but will cause serious dislocation of which the consequences are hard to fathom in foresight.

    ok i’m ranting ;)

  40. bsneath says:

    techy Says:

    Techy, I’ll bet we wished we were Japan before this thing is over. Similar crashes, but that is where it ends. Japan was much better prepared to weather their fall. We are totally unprepared. The only ones who will survive this are the multinationals and the farmers. The rest of us are SOL (including the banks).

  41. fins_hedgefunder says:

    Not to be ignored, but perhaps what I view as the most negative aspect of these NFP/Unemployment #s…is that hours worked dropped again.

    What does that mean? The -190k is really closer to -340k in terms of real hours. The u6 jumpted 0.5%! Unreal. But those jumping to get bearish on these numbers – realize that nearly all bank delinquency rates are improving on nearly all asset classes. So until those begin to roll over (which I think they will in Jan/Feb), fighting the market through shorts is futile unless you are just trading. Which is what I do.

  42. call me ahab says:


    you responded to my observation that Japan has been fighting deflation for 20 YEARS-

    with the retort- “what’s so bad about Japan”-

    my observation was only that Japan failed- deflation won-

    your original thesis was that reflation by the Fed would be a a good outcome-

    BUT-as i said- Japan tried and they failed-

    so what are you even talking about- sounds like you like deflation and reflation-

    can’t have both

  43. Mannwich says:

    @ahab: I get the sense that techy (and others) might find Japan less appealing if THEY themselves were out of work and suffering.

  44. hue says:

    we’re not japan. our markets will continue to rise with queasing. and we don’t have a demography problem with retiring baby boomers.

    how does Japan like exporting versus the Chinese who pegged its currency to the sinking dollar?

  45. rootless_cosmopolitan says:


    “… most of our debt isn’t owned by us”

    Who is “us’? Not by you and your family, or by the participants in this blog, but if you mean with “us” creditors in the United States you are mistaken with respect to this factoid. About 15% of the almost 53 trillion US-dollars total credit market debt in United States is owed to creditors in the rest of the world. In contrast, the overwhelming fraction of the debt, about 85% is owed to domestic creditors, mostly financial institutions. See the Flow of Funds Accounts by the Treasure on page 60, Table L.1:


  46. rootless_cosmopolitan says:

    By the Federal Reserve, not by the Treasury.

  47. techy says:


    the grim reaper of unemployment is being kept at bay with reinflation….

    if not for the $12 trillion or so pumped in to the system we would have easily seen most banks go bankrupt…most consumers go bankrupt….UE around 30%.

    and my saying that i will prefer being employed than my cash appreciating….means: i would continue giving higher taxes to help fight the crisis so that i can have my job to pay the tax.

    i would be singing a different song if i had enough savings that 4% return would pay for my living…..then i would be enraged at the way the government is inflating the money supply…..

    If i would be out of work…..i will be pressing for more government spending to help employment and some economic activity……because private companies are not going to do it(they are still cutting cost)


    When i said whats wrong with japan…..i meant that japan having gone through 20 years of supposedly bad time is still much better than most developed countries.

    as far as deflation winning in japan….i dont have enough data to draw any conclusion. (who cares deflation or inflation….as long as things are stable enough for people to earn their living to pay for a decent lifestyle)


    I am not so grim on the future of USA…. we may not have the same party as between 1985-2000, but that was a big bubble…

    chinese are going to keep screaming….but they need “export oriented jobs” so does japan, india, brazil etc..

    this reflation game is a very its a fine balancing act……and so far i am happy the way it has been played……considering that we were looking at massive deflation and destruction of society due to the crisis.

  48. Kort says:

    Japan has one of the oldest populations in the world and a decline in the population (negative growth) over the past decade. If we want to kill off Americans too we can get our unemployment rate lower, too.

  49. techy says:

    ???? elaborate please

    Kort Says:

    November 6th, 2009 at 11:47 am
    Japan has one of the oldest populations in the world and a decline in the population (negative growth) over the past decade. ???If we want to kill off Americans too we can get our unemployment rate lower, too.???

  50. van schaik says:

    “unemployment is a lagging indicator. when the rate hits 15%”…”

    In reality unemployment was a lagging indicator in only three of the last ten recessions. In seven of the last ten recessions the unemployment rate actually started falling at, or near, the end of the recession. Only in the last two recessions did we see a significant deterioration in the employment situation after the recession ended and after the recession of December 1969 – December 1970 unemployment basically drifted sideways for about a year before significantly improving. You can see the long term charts of employment from a variety of angles at

  51. cvienne says:

    “If we want to kill off Americans too we can get our unemployment rate lower, too.”

    That’s IS, IN FACT, the plan…

    Commit more troops to Afghanistan & Pass a Healthcare Bill…

  52. Kort says:

    We are 10.2% unemployment partly because we need to keep adding 150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with new entrants into the workforce (citizens coming of age to enter the workfoce, immigration). If we stopped having babies and cut off immigration (ie. a negative population growth rate), then it would begin to decrease our unemployment rate. If Japan had more open immigration (ha) or started having babies, then over the past 20 years they’d have more people and, consequently, more people unemployed. The rate would be higher than 5% unemployment. The solution, then, if Japan’s 5% is so great right now, is for us to kill off a bunch of unemployed Americans.