Non farm payrolls in November grew a measely 112,000 jobs — far below the consensus of 200,000 Wall Street Economists were expecting.
October’s data, an aberrant 337,000 jobs, were adjusted downwards to 303,000. The huge lift that month was incontrovertably caused by the four Gulf of Mexico hurricaines. In addition to recontruction and repairs after the storms, some hiring in September got displace forward a month by the weather disruption.
September’s numbers were also revised downwards.
I continue to be astounded by the many economists who insist on maintaining the myth that the Household Survey is more accurate than the Establishment Survey. They reveal their complete lack of integrity by only trotting out the Household survey numbers when it suits their evil purposes. This group of seers (also referred to by their genus, econimus weaselus) were stunningly silent on the Household Survey data last month, when the October data showed a drop in Household employment by some 367,000 workers.
Indeed, some commentators have taken the art of "selective data" into the realm of farce. Consider this statement from a research house (quoted in Barrons) Friday:
"The payroll job survey is frequently significantly at odds with the Household Survey and the difference has seldom been wider than this month."
Seldom wider? Absurd.
A quick calculation reveals how ludicrous this is: November Establishment (+112k) versus Household (+439k) show a disparity of 327k, supporting the commentator’s bullish macro economic thesis.
That sounds like a significant difference — until one looks at October’s data. Establishment (+337k) versus Household (-367k) revealed a disparity of 704,000. Not only is that more than double the previous disparity, the two surveys (which measure very different things) were trending in opposite directions.
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION: NOVEMBER 2004
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
December 03, 2004
Way back in October 2003, we looked at master technical analyst George Lindsay’s repetitive chart pattern, Three Peaks and the Domed House. That version showed a fairly prescient call by Ned Davis, before the January ’04 top. That was then, this is now. Its time to revisit the pattern, this time via Jeff Hirsch of…Read More
In the midst of the recent big drop in oil – which is likely at least partly due to forced/margin selling – there is an interesting point to be considered.
Writing on the financial website Street Insights, Richard Ritholtz [Editor: no relation — as far as I know] made the following comments today:
· It’s too early to write off the winter even though the weather has been quite mild in the Northeast and Midwest to date.
· Heating oil inventory is still at a low absolute level, although it is clearly in a building mode over the next weeks.
· The market experienced significant long liquidation yesterday as several large funds locked in their profit for the year; December 1st clearly signaled that year end is not far away.
· Based on information from several private forecasters, I believe that the overall winter temperatures from Dec. 21- Mar. 21 will be average to below normal even, though the November through early December temperatures have been milder.
As to the weather (ok…cue the “Let’s Make Fun of Rob Fraim” theme music here) here is something of interest (or fun if nothing else):
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a noteworthy record for medium-to-longer range weather forecasts.
Oh, I know you’re laughing at me now. You’d rather pay attention to Skippy the Weatherman on your local Accu-Weather at 6:00 who can’t, for Pete’s sake figure out whether it’s going to rain tomorrow. (And who each year predicts 4 huge snowstorms that never materialize and misses on the blizzard that blindsides you.)