NonFarm Payroll Day: Not-So-Great Expectations

We’ve been looking at various unemployment rates lately, heading into today’s NFP report at 8:30 am.

A few things worth mulling over while we await that data point:

Trend: The overall trend for the past 3 years has been decellerating job creation, and increasing unemployment. Of the two, job creation is the data series that has gotten appreciable worse the fastest;

• Birth/Death adjustment typically swings from a big negative in January to a big positive in February. This may skew today’s results upwards.

ADP data was a big downside surprise;

• Unemployment rates have only begun to move up, 0.50% off of the lows
to ~4.9%. Initial and continuing claims for jobless benefits have been rising steadily. The risk is if and when this series begins to accelerate upwards.

• Today’s consensus number is for 25,000 new jobs, from a range of  -50,000 to +50,000; 

• For unemployment, the consensus is a 5.0%, with a range from 4.9% to 5.1%. No one thing UR is getting any better, but few think its is getting much worse too quickly.

Rex Nutting points out two additional factoids:  1) The number of consumers who say jobs are hard to get increased sharply in the Conference Board survey in February; and, 2) Employment subindexes have fallen in the Institute for Supply Management and other similar business surveys. Neither of these are positives leading into today’s NFP.

Remember, any single data point in a volatile series is relatively meaningless; Its the overall trend that matters.

Note: I am out of pocket for the next few hours, ending up at Bloomberg TV, and won’t be able to follow up for some time . . .


Job growth has slowed to a crawl, economists say
Rex Nutting
MarketWatch,  7:39 p.m. EST March 6, 2008

Category: Economy, Employment, Wages & Income

More on Unemployment Rates

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment

Who Has Been Wrong On Housing, Credit, Economy, Dollar?

Category: Commodities, Data Analysis, Economy, Financial Press, Markets

Federal Reserve: Household Equity at all time lows

Category: Credit, Data Analysis, Economy, Real Estate

Who Are the Socialists: FOMC vs ECB ?

Category: Federal Reserve, Fixed Income/Interest Rates

Pending Home Sales Down 19.6%

Category: Credit, Economy, Real Estate

ADP Report, NFP Numbers for February 2008

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment

Faber Says Bernanke Policy Will `Destroy’ U.S. Dollar

Category: Currency, Federal Reserve, Inflation

Why Can’t I Rip DVDs to My iPod?

Simpsons_movLegally, that is.

This is my annoyance of the moment: Why are DVDs a DRM-locked proprietary platform? When I purchase one, why can’t I use this on a convenient, portable device such as my iPod?

What a pain in the arse it is to rip a DVD: Frist, you need to use several products (MP4
, Handbrake, Ripper); 2nd, it takes forever. 3rd, and its illegal to do so.

What brought this about recently was The Simpson’s Movie — actually, more  of an extended 90 minute episode. I saw it with my nephews (with me snoozing thru parts of it).

However, going through the extras, I started listening to producer/writer commentary. Unbelievably entertaining stuff, like a terrific radio show with several very funny people cracking each other up. I would have liked to put on the iPod for the train, but no such luck.


I can rip the basic movie, but not the special audio commentary. Anyone have a clue how to do that?



The Complete Guide to Converting DVDs to iPod Format
Jerrod Hofferth
iLounge, November 21, 2005

Rip DVDs To Your Mac To View On AppleTV And iPod.
Alexis Kayhill
Mac360, Friday, April 13, 2007

Category: Digital Media, Film, Technology, Television, Video

Ambac, Part III

Category: Credit, Derivatives, Finance