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Anticipating Friday’s Employment Report for December

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher No Comments Comments
    January 9, 2015

    The economic mover and shaker this week is the Friday employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This monthly report contains a wealth of data for economists, probably the most publicized in the near term being the month-over-month change in Total Nonfarm Employment (the PAYEMS series in the FRED repository).

    Today we have a December estimate of 241K new nonfarm private employment jobs from ADP.

    The 241K estimate came in above the Investing.comforecast of 226K for the ADP number. Moreover, ADP made a 19K upward revision to its November estimate, from 208K to 227K.

    The Investing.com forecast for the forthcoming BLS report is 240K nonfarm new jobs (the actual PAYEMS number).

    Here is an excerpt from today’s ADP report:

    Goods-producing employment rose by 46,000 jobs in December, up from 40,000 jobs gained in November. The construction industry added 23,000 jobs, up from last month’s gain of 20,000. Meanwhile, manufacturing added 26,000 jobs in December, well above November’s 16,000 and the second highest monthly total of 2014 in that sector.Service-providing employment rose by 194,000 jobs in December, up from 187,000 in November. The ADP National Employment Report indicates that professional/business services contributed 69,000 jobs in December. Expansion in trade/transportation/utilities grew by 44,000, down from November’s 54,000. The 16,000 new jobs added in financial activities was well above last month’s 5,000 and represented the largest monthly gain for 2014 in that sector.

    “December delivered another strong number well above 200,000 to close out a solid year of employment growth with over two and a half million jobs added,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. “Small businesses continued to lead the way, but mid-sized and large companies also showed solid gains.”

    Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market continues to power forward. Businesses across all industries and sizes are adding to payrolls. At the current pace of job growth, the economy will be back to full employment by this time next year.”

    Here is a visualization of the two series over the previous twelve months.

    The key difference between the two series is that the BLS series is for Nonfarm Payrolls while ADP tracks private employment.

    For a sense of the critical importance of employment data for the economy, see my Big Four Economic Indicators, which I will be updating shortly after the employment report is published.

    Images: Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author

    My original dshort.com website was launched in February 2005 using a domain name based on my real name, Doug Short. I’m a formerly retired first wave boomer with a Ph.D. in English from Duke. Now my website has been acquired byAdvisor Perspectives, where I have been appointed the Vice President of Research.

    My first career was a faculty position at North Carolina State University, where I achieved the rank of Full Professor in 1983. During the early ’80s I got hooked on academic uses of microcomputers for research and instruction. In 1983, I co-directed the Sixth International Conference on Computers and the Humanities. An IBM executive who attended the conference made me a job offer I couldn’t refuse.

    Thus began my new career as a Higher Education Consultant for IBM — an ambassador for Information Technology to major universities around the country. After 12 years with Big Blue, I grew tired of the constant travel and left for a series of IT management positions in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. I concluded my IT career managing the group responsible for email and research databases at GlaxoSmithKline until my retirement in 2006.

    Contrary to what many visitors assume based on my last name, I’m not a bearish short seller. It’s true that some of my content has been a bit pessimistic in recent years. But I believe this is a result of economic realities and not a personal bias. For the record, my efforts to educate others about bear markets date from November 2007, as this Motley Fool article attests.


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