Posts filed under “Employment”


Very interesting NFP report today, with all sorts of cross currents at play. The consensus of Wall Street economists is for the unemployment rate to
remain at 4.6% for August, while Nonfarm payroll growth is seen at 112,000 — marginally
stronger than July’s 92,000.

AdpAs noted yesterday, Back-to-School Sales were surprisingly strong. And credit crunch notwithstanding, the global boom continues. 

Closer to home, things have been murkier. The ADP Employment change was a mere 38k — that has lowered expectations, as have all of the huge layoffs in the mortgage and banking — the Financial sector accounts for about half of the total mass layoffs.

BLS keeps showing an unfathomable construction jobs growth , which I suspect is a function of their wildly-optimistic-guaranteed-to-miss-turning-points Birth/Death Model adjustment. The gross gain last August was 122k jobs; since  it appears to be rather seasonal, we should expect a nice B/D bump this August also.

Considering how much softer the economy has been much in 2007 than last year, it is simply unconscionable that the B/D model has actually created more jobs in 2007 than it created at this point in 2006.

Year    Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul 
2006   -193    116    135    271    211    175    -57   
2007   -175    118    128    317    203    156    26                        

Hence, we need to consider two factors: today’s reported number, and that ongoing physical construct called reality.

It would not shock me to see an upside surprise in the official reported number today. 120k – 180k is certainly a conceivable outcome from the model. Hell, if BLS’ model can generate data saying construction jobs are growing, than why not even 200-220k new jobs?

The real numbers on the ground are very different. In addition to the punk ADP report, and the massive Challenger layoff numbers, we continue to see other leading employment indicators softening:  The online job listings (showing more people looking for work) and temporary help index. The charts of temp help firms like ManPower (MAN) look pretty awful.  Also, Continuing
unemployment claims
continue to tick higher — the WSJ reported they "hit 2.598 million in the week to Aug. 25, up 5% from a year


The Fed will obviously be watching this data point, but one number is far less significant than the overall trend — and that has been a gradual decrease in new job creation over the past 3 years.   

I’m out of pocket most of the morning, so I may not get a chance to update this until much later today . . .


UPDATE: September 7, 2007 3:15pm

Helluva day to be out of pocket; Dow is off 240 as I type this; Gold is rockin.

A loss of 4,000 jobs — the first negative number in 4 years — pretty much gives the begging/pleading crwod what they want: a very likely 25 bps cut.

Once I get settled, I’ll update payroll and expand on yesterday’s same store sales  data.


Market Spotlight: Staffing Companies
Analysts Forecast Tough Times for Staffing Companies As Housing, Credit Problems Continue
Betsy Vereckey
AP, Thursday September 6, 3:41 pm ET

How Job Report May Be Masking Labor Pains
WSJ, September 7, 2007; Page C1

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Federal Reserve

A Closer Look at Unemployment

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Federal Reserve

Construction Employment, Contractors, Jobs

Category: Consumer Spending, Employment, Real Estate

Brilliant Economists Can’t Figure It Out

Tom Toles perfectly sums up both the present economic environment, and the problem with economists:

Category: Earnings, Economy, Employment, Psychology, Wages & Income

Real Income Fails to Rise for most of the 2000s

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Psychology, Wages & Income

A Closer Look at July NFP (or, true UR = 5.4%)

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment


Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Federal Reserve

The Accelerating BLS Birth/Death Adjustment

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Real Estate

How Good Was NFP Really?

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Wages & Income

Why I don’t buy the 4.5% Unemployment Rate

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Federal Reserve