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A Quick Jobs Report Note (Updated)

By January 5, 2024Commentary

After the JOLTS report earlier this week, as expected, the “official” employment report for December was released this morning and showed “surprising” job growth, which will last for one month until it is revised downward next month.  So the important item to look at is not the headline number for December, but what happened to the prior two months.  Well, well, well.  November was revised down from 199,000 new jobs to 173,000; that is a 13% downward revision and October was revised even lower, from 150,000 new jobs to 105,000; a whopping 30% decline from the original estimate.  These downward revisions are a standard feature of the Bidementia administration jobs reports.  Make things look great on the first release and slip in the truth in later ones when no one is looking.  Supposedly 216,000 jobs were added in December, well above the 175,000 consensus estimate.  I would bet that the February report takes that 216,000 down to around the original estimate.  And there will be further downward revisions to October and December.

Much of the gain, of course, was in government and government-supported jobs.  The private sector is floundering.  And wages were up more than expected, not exactly a sign of cooling inflation.  The market of course does not like these strong reports, because it means the Federal Reserve won’t be cutting rates, and the Treasury bill and bond market responded with sharp yield rises.  (BLS Data)

As usual the Zero Hedge folks found a few additional nuggets painting a very unrosy picture.  The household survey showed a massive loss of jobs, 683,000 to be exact.  The gap between the business survey and the household survey has widened massively during the Bidementia administration.  Even worse, the number of full-time jobs dropped by over 1.5 million, while part-time jobs rose 760,000.  Since February of 2023 not one full-time job has been added, but a lot of part-time ones have been and more people are working at multiple jobs, over 220,000 more to a total of 8.57 million scrambling to make ends meet by having more than one job.  Not exactly the picture of a super-strong employment market.  (ZH Post)

Join the discussion One Comment

  • joethenonclimatescientist says:

    Jobs report based on surveys.

    It is well known that in order to get good survey results, the sample must be using valid random statistical selection. The low response rate creates statistical problems with the sample. What the gov has done to “offset ” the low response rate is to increase the sample size with a resulting increase in non response rates. That procedure makes the statistical sampling worse not better.

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