Friday, February 05, 2010

Jobs report...

There are so many revisions in this report it might take all day for the market to sift through the data.

Unemployment rate fell to 9.7% from 10%.

On the surface the unemployment rate fell and the data shows a jump in the number of employed workers. I suspect that this might be due to seasonal adjustments that are no longer relevant, but I'll have to dig through the report a bit.

Also, remember I've warned previously that we'd eventually hit a point where unemployed persons use up all of their benefits and fall off of the unemployment statistics. This gives the illusion of someone returning to the workforce when in reality they're situation is worse because they no longer receive any benefits.

Finally, there were major revisions to December's data that should concern anyone trying read too much into this data.

I'll have a more detailed breakdown soon.


In November there were 138.4 million employed persons in the US and 10% unemployment rate.

In January, the number of employed persons had fallen to 138.3 million but the unemployment rate has FALLEN to 9.7%. Hmmm. It's mostly due to people exiting the workforce.

It's going to take a true student of the BLS reports to decipher all of the changes in this month's report. I'll report back when I get some feedback from people that are experts in the field.


Update #2:

Temporary Help was up another 52,000 jobs in January. Again historically, this has been a signal of an improving economic outlook as companies hire to temps before hiring permenant workers. I disagree with that theory right now as I see companies shifting to "just-in-time employment". Hiring temps when needed and letting them go soon after.

Long-term unemployed now stands at 4.1%. These are people unemployed for more than 26 weeks and this number is at it's highest level ever recorded (since records began in 1948).

The non-seasonally adjusted numbers were pretty grim (10.4% unemployment) and while I'd normally say we should ignore the non-seasonal data this is one month to at least be aware of the data. The BLS asks us to believe that RETAIL and Temporary Help sectors added the most jobs in January. Hmm, do stores normally boost hiring AFTER Christmas?


1 comment:

Judy said...

The government is hiring census workers - how is that going to affect the jobless numbers?