A funny thing happened on the road to economic recovery, the payrolls numbers rose less than forecast. Worse than the most pessimistic economist projections.
On the other hand, the U.S. Unemployment Rate is now at 6.7%, down from 7.0%, and the lowest since October 2008. Which is a good thing…if the labor force had increased and more people were looking for jobs. A look at the tables released this morning shows that the labor force decreased and the unemployed workers looking for a job also decreased.
Payrolls in December increased at the slowest pace since January 2011, indicating a pause in the recent strength of the U.S. labor market that may have reflected the effects of bad weather. The 74,000 gain in payrolls, less than the most pessimistic projection in a Bloomberg survey, followed a revised 241,000 advance the prior month. The median forecast of 90 economists called for an increase of 197,000. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent, the lowest since October 2008, as more people left the labor force. Bloomberg survey estimates for December ranged from gains of 100,000 to 250,000. The unemployment rate for December was forecast to hold at 7 percent.
More than a quarter million Americans were not at work because of inclement weather, the most for any December since 1977. Employers may be awaiting further evidence that the economy is accelerating before they step up the pace of hiring.
Change in Nonfarm Payrolls
Two-Month Payroll Net Revision
Change in Private Payrolls
Change in Manufact. Payrolls
Average Hourly Earnings MoM
Average Hourly Earnings YoY
Average Weekly Hours All Employees
Change in Household Employment
Labor Force Participation Rate
“Volvo, Video, Velcro: I came, I saw, I stuck around.”
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury