Ouch! Nonfarm payrolls +32,000 jobs


For those of you share in my wonderering aloud whether the BLS games the actual data, the answer appears to be a likely no:

U.S. employers hired workers at the slowest pace in eight months in July, fanning fears about the economic recovery and raising doubts about whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week.

Nonfarm business payrolls grew by a net 32,000 jobs last month, the smallest increase since December, the Labor Department said Friday. The government also said employers created 61,000 fewer more jobs in May and June than was first estimated.

Economists had expected payroll growth of 215,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold at 5.6%, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC.

Ouch: Consensus was for 243,000. Look out below . . .

U.S. Payroll Growth Is Slowest in 8 Months
Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2004 9:25 a.m.


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Nice WSJ profile


There is an embarassingly nice profile in the "Quite Contrary" column of yours truly today. 

My favorite line of the interview (unfortunately) got cut:

"If this is a short term call, its rather late, as the SMHs have already fallen more than a third from their highs, giving back half of their gains. If its a long term call — is this semi-condictor cycle over already? — it seems to be rather early."

  That’s from memory; It was prolly wordier than that (and hence exised).   

UPDATE:  10:45am
In response to those of you without WSJ access, here’s a PDF

Quite Contrary:  Placing a Wager On the Chip Sector
Maxim Strategist Ritholtz Sees Tax-Incentives Sunset Picking Up Semiconductors
By Erin Schulte
Wall Street Journal, August?3,?2004;?Page?C3



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