Friday, April 02, 2010

March Jobs Numbers...

This is going to be a weird jobs report even by BLS standards. Expectations are for 140k-190k jobs added in March. Great news right? Well, the ADP survey - which is clearly flawed - showed private employers cut jobs last month so we have reasons to be concerned.

There was also some good payroll analysis that showed there was a huge jump in payroll taxes paid in March so there could have been as many as 300k jobs added in March.

Also, consider that we have no idea what % of new jobs will be temporary Census workers. The Census department is adding over a million jobs in the next few months and frankly should be broken out of the BLS survey but that won't happen.

Just beware of all the happy talk headlines today if there is a big jump in the jobs number - it may take a couple of minutes to get a handle on what the "real" jobs number was for March.

Update - 162k jobs added which seems a little light. The census department only added 48k jobs in March so the bulk of the jobs added for the census are still coming. Of the 114k "real" jobs added ---

40k were temporary help --- "we're all temporary now"

27k were in health care --- no wonder the health care industry is so happy with health care reform

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was up by 0.1 hour to 34.0 hours in March which is a positive and data for Jan and February were revised upward. I continue to be surprised by their data compilations which seem to fly in the face of jobs websites that are reporting fewer openings but all together from what I see in the report this is pretty much inline.

I'll update some other points when the Birth/Death model is released (interestingly for the second month in a row, the support data has lagged the initial report).

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