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Friday, February 01, 2008

Employment, Honey

The interesting thing about this month's employment report is that the population and BED adjustments pretty much drown out the underlying signal. The establishment survey reports -17,000 jobs in January, and the household survey reports an unemployment rate of 4.9%. Of particular interest, government jobs are listed as being down 18,000. This is not impossible, but it is a concern because growth in government jobs have been supporting a lot of indicators. Average weekly earnings dropped due to weakness in aggregate hours.

This is the BED adjustment:
  |Table B.  Revisions in total nonfarm employment, January-December 2007,      |
|seasonally adjusted |
| |
|(In thousands) |
|_______________________________________________________________________ |
| | | |
| | Levels | Over-the-month changes |
| |---------------------|--------------------------------- |
| Year and month| As | | As | | |
| |previously| As |previously| As | Difference |
| |published | revised |published | revised | |
|_______________|__________|__________|__________|__________|___________ |
| | | | | | |
| 2007 | | | | | |
|January........| 137,329 | 137,108 | 162 | 126 | -36 |
|February.......| 137,419 | 137,133 | 90 | 25 | -65 |
|March..........| 137,594 | 137,310 | 175 | 177 | 2 |
|April..........| 137,716 | 137,356 | 122 | 46 | -76 |
|May............| 137,904 | 137,518 | 188 | 162 | -26 |
|June...........| 137,973 | 137,625 | 69 | 107 | 38 |
|July...........| 138,066 | 137,682 | 93 | 57 | -36 |
|August.........| 138,159 | 137,756 | 93 | 74 | -19 |
|September......| 138,203 | 137,837 | 44 | 81 | 37 |
|October........| 138,362 | 137,977 | 159 | 140 | -19 |
|November.......| 138,477 | 138,037 | 115 | 60 | -55 |
|December (p)...| 138,495 | 138,119 | 18 | 82 | 64 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------- |
| p = preliminary. |
| |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
It means relatively little because this is based on the BED findings for the year ending March 2007, so this adjustment is quite out of date.

It's no surprise that manufacturing jobs were reported down 28,000, given the poor readings of the Philly report and yesterday's Chicago PMI. More about that later after NACM comes out.

As a personal aside, the Chief was successfully located and retrieved from the airport, even though he decided to wait on the departing side of the terminal at an airline on which he did not travel, and he helpfully turned off his cell phone. Perhaps he feared some naggy person would attempt to call him on it with some naggy question about his location. With dogged determination, I tracked him down.

UPDATE: Monster's employment index showed the third straight decline overall and declines in 20 out of 23 industry areas. I thought it interesting that across the pond, two of the most housing-dependent economies are showing losses in manufacturing. Those are Spain and Ireland.

Comments:
I fear that my wife and you could compare notes on strange habits of husbands.

On the jobs reports, keep in mind that for the last year or more, the number new jobs have not kept pace with population increase meaning that an ever increasing % of Americans are out of work, no matter that any other stats say.
 
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Mama, the Chief was probably testing you to see if you could still "track" him down. You are funny! :-)
 
Vader -
A) According to FUT, we are losing jobs rapidly.

B) I don't think she and should compare notes, because of course that would then grant you two husbands the right to compare notes on the strange habits of wives. As a possibly related aside, the Chief did bring me two absolutely giant chocolate bars, sweat pants and a sweatshirt.

Viola, he was sincerely indignant that it took me so long. After two drivebys, I literally covered the entire terminal on foot except for the men's room, most of it twice. He was in the final corner on the departing side, lurking like an angry, wary coral fish against a wall.
 
Mama, I'm glad you finally found him! Sounds like he, as well as you, needed some TLC after THAT ordeal.
 
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